Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Now that we have received a break from work due to the outbreak of Covid-19, let us try to observe some healthy practices, that are simply good to be part of our lifestyle
Eat a variety of foods
There are more than 40 different nutrients that we need for us to have good health, and there is no single food can supply them all!
It is not about a single meal, but about a balanced food choice over time that will make a difference!
Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates
About half the calories in our diet should come from foods rich in carbohydrates, such as cereals, rice, and potatoes. It is a good idea to include at least one of these at every meal. Wholegrain foods, like wholegrain bread and cereals, will increase our fibre intake.
Replace saturated fat with unsaturated fat
Fats are important for good health and proper functioning of the body. However, too much of it can negatively affect our weight and cardiovascular health. Different kinds of fats have different health effects, and some of these tips could help us keep the balance right:
We should if possible, avoid the consumption of total and saturated fats (often coming from foods of animal origin).
Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving us enough vitamins, minerals and fibre. We should try to eat lots of them at least every day. We can prepare fruits as juice, salads or even eat them whole.
But we must take note, not to mix the fruits together with vegetables. They all need to be eaten at different times. Some fruits too need not to be mixed up with others even when making a salad or juice. Like a watermelon. You better have it alone.
Reduce salt and sugar intake
A high salt intake can result in high blood pressure, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are different ways to reduce salt in the diet:
When shopping, we could choose products with lower sodium content.
When cooking, salt can be substituted with spices, increasing the variety of flavours and tastes.
When eating, it helps not to have salt at the table, or at least not to add salt before tasting.
Sugar provides sweetness and an attractive taste, but sugary foods and drinks are rich in energy, and are best enjoyed in moderation, as an occasional treat. We could use fruits instead.
Eat thrice or twice in one day
Eating a variety of foods, regularly, and in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet.
Skipping meals, especially a heavy breakfast is not a good health practice. It may lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating.
Paying attention to portion size will help us not to consume too much calories, and will allow us to eat all the foods we enjoy, without having to eliminate any.
Cooking the right amount makes it easier to not overeat.
Drink plenty of water
Adults need to drink at least 3 litres of water a day! Or more if it's very hot or they are physically active. We can use mineral water.
Maintain a healthy body weight
The right weight for each us depends on factors like our gender, height, age, and genes. Being affected by obesity and overweight increases the risks of a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
Excess body fat comes from eating more than we need. The extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient - protein, fat or carbohydrate, but fat is the most concentrated source of energy. Physical activity helps us spend the energy, and makes us feel good. The message is reasonably simple: if we are gaining weight, we need to eat less and be more active!
Get on the move, make it a habit!
Physical activity is important for people of all weight ranges and health conditions. It helps us burn off the extra calories, it is good for the heart and circulatory system, it maintains or increases our muscle mass, it helps us focus, and improves overall health well-being. We don't have to be top athletes to get on the move! 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity is advised, and it can easily become part of our daily routine.
Start now! And keep changing gradually.
Gradual changes in our lifestyle are easier to maintain than major changes introduced all at once. For three days, we could write down the foods and drinks we consume throughout the day, and make a note of the amount of movement we made. It won’t be difficult to spot where we could improve:
- Some fruits and vegetables? To start with, we can introduce one extra piece a day.
- Favorite foods high in fat? Eliminating them abruptly could fire back, and make us return to the old habits. We can choose low fat options instead, eat them less frequently, and in smaller portions.
- Too little activity? Using the stairs daily could be a great first move.
I wish you well in your endeavors