- Choose whole grain, not refined
Your body’s quickest energy comes from carbohydrates. It’s important that these carbohydrates come from healthy wholegrain foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta, oatmeal or brown rice.
- Don’t forget the dairy
Choose low-fat dairy products when having milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. You will get the same amount of calcium, phosphorus and other nutrients as the full-fat versions, but with fewer calories.
- Eat a rainbow – five a day!
Aim to get five fruits and vegetables a day that vary in colour. Choose from reds (tomatoes, cherries), greens (spinach, lettuce), oranges (papaya, pumpkin), yellows (lemon, bell peppers) and blues/purples (blueberries, eggplant) to benefit from a variety of nutrients.
- Eat your fruits and vegetables instead of drinking them
Fruits and vegetables are the healthiest foods and are loaded with water, fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Once juiced, a lot of fibre is lost. Hence it is recommended to eat fruits and vegetables to benefit from their nutritional value.
- Choose lean meats
Meat and fish are good sources of protein; however, it’s important to choose wisely. Try replacing red meat with lean meat options such as skinless poultry or oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc.
- Eat healthy fats and oils
Include foods that contain healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado and cook with healthy oils such as olive oil, canola oil, rice bran oil and peanut oil.
- Limit salt
Excess salt consumption has been associated with increased blood pressure levels. It is important to be mindful about excess sodium coming from salted nuts, salted chips, packet soups, bread, sauces and other packaged foods. Choose natural alternatives such as lime, vinegar and herbs to flavour food rather than salt.
- Don’t drink sugar
Sweetened beverages are loaded with sugar and are unsurprisingly associated with obesity and other health problems. Try replacing them with natural sugar-free alternatives, such as fresh lime-infused water.
- Don’t get thirsty
Stay well hydrated and drink before you feel thirsty. Always opt for plain water, fruit-infused water or soup, instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Target at least 2-2.5 litres of fluid per day.
Article by NMC