Tips And Treats
Healthy Eating Tips
Healthful eating is the act of following a balanced nutritional diet. Because our ideas of what counts as "healthful" change according to scientific advances in the field of nutrition, along with personal and cultural considerations, accepted standards of healthful eating differ from person to person and through history
Last Updated - 1st December 2005
Healthy Eating Tips
- Reduce Fat intake - Know the foods that contain lots of fat and avoid them as much as possible; trim all visible fat; use non-stick pans and use minimal oil in cooking; steam and broil rather than deep fry.
- Cut down on Salt - Use less salt and commercial seasonings in your cooking; modify your recipes; limit processed foods; avoid food in brine; use natural spices and seasonings.
- Use less Sugar - Look out for hidden sugar such as dextrose, sucrose etc on the labels; choose fruits over sweet desserts.
- Eat less Meat - Replace with grains, vegetables, soya beancurd and lentils.
- Increase Fibre intake - Fibre prevents constipation and may lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar. Choose wholemeal bread over white bread and eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Drink plenty of Water - Drink at least 8 glasses of plain water a day.
- Eat more Home-Cooked Food - You are in control of your home-cooked food, so make the healthier choices when cooking your meal.
- Choose Healthy, Low Calorie Snacks - Examples of snack you can choose : cream crackers, carrot sticks, steamed rather than fried kuehs, unsweetened fresh fruits juice / shake.
- Read food Labels - Look out for hidden sugar and fats; know the nutritional values of the food that you are eating.
- Eat a Well-Balanced Meal -
Your diet should contain all the different food groups, and the secret to good nutrition is to eat everything in moderation.
Principals of The Diets
- The amount and the type of fat you eat are important. A high fat intake, especially saturated fat raises your blood cholesterol. The measures suggested in this diet are therefore designed to reduce your fat intake, and ensure an adequate intake of the polyunsaturated type of fat.
- Some foods are rich in cholesterol and must be limited.
- The overall calories you eat are important. This is because too many calories lead to overweight conditions, and being overweight is associated with high blood pressure. Your diet is therefore designed to have the right amounts of calories for you-either to maintain your weight or to loose weight if you are overweight.
- Eating more high fibre foods will be helpful in lowering your blood cholesterol.
- If triglycerides are raised, it is important to eat less refined carbohydrates, such as sugar and sweet foods, and limit alcohol consumption.
What is Fat?
- FAT is a major nutrient essential to your body. It supplies you with energy and helps maintain various body functions.
- Fats come from both animals and vegetables. They help to make food palatable. They also carry fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as fatty acids, which are broken down to release energy and rebuild cell structure in your bodies.
- Fats are related to cellulite, the lumpy-looking, dimpled skin that usually appears on a woman’s thighs, bottoms, upper arms and lower abdomen. Cellulite is basically ordinary fat, which can be lost through weight reduction.
- Women are prone to cellulite because the female hormone oestrogen makes them acquire fat, which tends to be stored under the skin’s surface. With age, surface skin becomes thinner and less elastic, hence dimpling becomes more exaggerated. Cellulite is a natural characteristic of the female body. It is not the build-up of toxins and impurities in the body as some believe.
What does my body need more - fat, carbohydrates or protein?
- Carbohydrates, fat and protein are three different types of nutrients. They pack different amounts of energy within them and are converted to calories via different biochemical pathways.
- To stay healthy, 55 to 65 percent of the energy from food needed to maintain basic bodily functions should come from carbohydrates, 20 to 30 percent from fat, and the remaining 10 to 15 percent from protein.
- A calorie is a measure of energy. Technically, one calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 g of water by 1 deg C. In the field of nutrition and health, the term “calorie” is the unit of measurement used to indicate the amount of energy in food and used by the body.
Taking The Right Type Of Fat
- All types of fat are equally high in calories. Excessive consumption of fat can result in obesity and increased health risks.
- There are four types of fat in food: saturated, polyunsaturated, mono-unsaturated and trans fat. Saturated fat and trans fat can be considered “bad” because these raise blood cholesterol when taken in excess. This increases the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
- Foods high in saturated fat include meat, butter, coconut cream and vegetable oil blended with palm oil. Foods high in trans fat include hard margarine, pastries and biscuits.
- Replacing saturated fat in the diet with polyunsaturated fat and mono-unsaturated fat may help to lower blood cholesterol. For this reason, polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fat can be considered “good”.
- Foods high in polyunsaturated fat include margarine and vegetable oils such as corn oil, soy bean oil and sunflower oil, and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Foods high in mono-saturated fat include olive oil, canola oil, groundnut oil and avocado.
Measures To Reduce Fat Intake
- Eat less meat and always choose lean meat, trimming off any visible fats.
- Cut down on margarine - spread thinly.
- Remove the skin from chicken and duck.
- Eat fish more often - at least once a week - it is lower in fat than meat and contains beneficial omega-3 oil.
- Try more vegetables based dishes, using bean curd, peas or dhal with just a little meat for flavour if desired.
- Take fried food no more than twice a week - grill, steam, boil or bake instead, and let the fat drain away.
- Replace coconut milk in curries with skimmed milk or low-fat yogurt - or use more onions and tomatoes instead.
- Let home-made curries or stews cool before serving, skim off the solid fat on the top before reheating.
Limiting Cholesterol From Foods
- Limit organ meats (eg: liver, brain, kidney, lung) and seafood (eg: prawns, crabs, squid, oysters, mussels) to no more than twice a week and take only small portions.
- Limit eggs to 2 per week (egg white may be taken freely).
- Eat less meat and sausages, replace them with vegetables at least twice a week.
Ways To Increase Your Fibre Intak
- Take wholemeal bread instead of white bread.
- Take as many other meal products such as: unpolished rice, wholegrain noodles, pasta, chappati, wholemeal biscuits or crackers, rye bread, black glutinous rice etc.
- Take wholemeal cereals at breakfast, such as shredded wheat, bran cereals, oats. For extra fibre, 1-2 teaspoons of raw unprocessed bran, may be sprinkled on the top.
- Take at least 3 servings of vegetables daily. Try to include pulse vegetables in at least one meal per day.
Eg. of pulse vegetables are: peas, baked beans, kidney beans etc.
Eg. of high fibre vegetables are: lady's finger, long beans, sweetcorn, snowpeas etc.
- Take at least 3 pieces of fruits daily. Eg: chiku, guava, jackfruit, banana, apples, grapes etc.
- Make your snacks high in fibre. Eg: nuts, prunes, raisins, pulot hitam etc.
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