Many times we have experienced that starting or initiating a change is highly challenging. Moreover, if it is to do something with our own food or eating habits it becomes all the more difficult to sustain. Most of diet solution goes out of window, because people find it difficult to follow. At the same time people believe more on medical advises/ suggestions/tablets and ignore their very own assets towards better life and health. i.e., “Eat right- Eat wise”.
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Generally people get confused that eat right or good nutrition means eating only boiled or bland foods without any taste, appearance without any variety. We have to remember that food habits get its roots at very young age itself. Center for Science in Public Interest reports, 4 out of 10 leading cause of death is directly influenced by diet in US. In India also 60% of death every year is due to Non Communicable disease-which includes diabetes, heart problems, cancer, stomach related issues etc.
The good nutrition and right food keeps changing with age, our physical condition and gender. So, the healthy food is a dynamic concept. The feel good factor sustenance depends on how fast you adapt to changed diet, without fussing. For this taking professional help will take your health long way.
Let me discuss few challenges we face when we want to change to balanced or healthy diets.
- Challenge of Missing Ingredients: I wanted to eat salads or wanted to make soup but was not having the right fruits or vegetables, at home.
Solution: Keep your vegetables, fruits and grocery stocked on weekly basis at least. Another alternative will be, checking what you have and cook accordingly.
- Challenge of chopping: It’s really a challenge to chop down vegetables or fruits for salads especially at the end of the day.
Solution: Involve growing up kids (both gender) for cutting and chopping of salads. You can suggest them to cut the way they want. You can also use graters. (If you want, variety of chopping and cutting tools is easily available)
- Challenge of low fruits intake: Do not like fruits, but know the benefits.
Solution: Start your meals with fruits first. Go for seasonal fruits. Do not limit to one type of fruit only. Eat more of citrus fruits – as they are great immunity booster. Based on health condition (e.g. diabetic) and age, pick low sugar fruits.
For weight watchers – Go with melons, guava, avocado. Prefer whole fruits rather than fruit juices.
- Challenge of eating Vegetables and green leafy vegetables: Eating variety of vegetables gives you micronutrients, essential vitamins and minerals, green leafy vegetables should be taken almost alternate day once at least.
Solution: Spinach/ Methi/ Amaranths – can be blanched slightly/cook slightly with drizzle of oil and added to curd with bit of spice, or grind the vegetable to paste and add to make chapatti/roti/dosa. Add vegetables as direct juices/fries/soups on daily basis.
- Challenge of Low protein foods: Indian diet especially of vegetarians lacks in protein. Also, the so called non vegetarian Indian population takes animal foods in limited quantity only.
Solution: Breakfast with protein foods is must and healthy for all age groups. Add whole grains or dals with south Indian breakfast e.g. Idli and dosa. Can add eggs with the breakfast (2-3 times a week). Can add pulses to daily soups
- Challenge of how to reduce fats: Fats and oils are great source of essential fatty acids. Fat soluble vitamins require essential fatty acids for proper absorption.
Solution: Do seasoning for curries and sambhar in the end only. Add desi ghee in the plate,while eating food.
Remember the hidden source of fats. Always read your food labels to check for fats, saturated fats, trans fats etc.
"CUSTOMIZED DIETARY CHANGES ARE GREAT TOOL FOR EAT RIGHT-EAT WISE"