Tip #1: Understanding, why we need food?
The most important aspect of eating healthy is understanding your body. Our cells are dying and replaced all the time. Red blood cells live for about four months, while white blood cells live on average more than a year. Skin cells live about two or three weeks. The cells in our lungs continuously renew themselves, taking roughly 2 – 3 weeks. Even our bones and muscles are continually regenerating. It may take ten years or so for bones to completely renew itself. So if you don’t eat right it may not affect you immediately, it will have a long-term effect, and you will have to suffer later in your life.
See bones as an example, if you don’t eat ample amount of calcium, take in vitamin D for calcium absorption and do some exertion exercises with time as your bones regenerate they will become weaker and less dense (fragile) causing all sorts of problem. You need to have all the essential tools for bone growth at all times in your body.
I hear people say they don’t drink milk and they don’t exercise but they are healthy? Well to them I say you are ignorant, it is only a matter of time before you start experiencing the adverse effects.
Tip # 2: What is a Balanced diet?
A balanced diet is the one that has six classes of nutrients:
Having tea with bread and jam is NOT a balanced meal, it is not eating healthy. You are just fulfilling you energy (Calories) requirements to carry out physical activity. It may work over a shorter period but have this type of meal over a longer period will hurt your body as explained above.
The primary sources where you can get these nutrients from are as follows:
Carbohydrates: Oatmeal, Wheat (roty), Rice, Potatoes.
Proteins: Meat, Lentils (daal), Beans, Dairy products.
Fats: Dairy Products, Meat, Olive oil, dry fruit, Cheese
Vitamins & Mineral: Add colourful fruits and salads to your diet, they are a rich source of multivitamins and minerals.
You can eat your traditional food and still have a balanced meal if you just understand what are you eating. For example, a Pakistani/Indian balanced meal will have a Chapati or rice that will fulfil our carbohydrates requirements, and Dal Gosht can cater our Proteins and Fats needs. Just make sure there is not too much fat in it. Salad and fruit we eat with our meal are an excellent source of Vitamins and Minerals.
Voila!!! That’s your balanced meal.
Don’t forget water; it is an essential component of eating healthy. Without it, your body can’t flush out toxins, transport nutrients to cells or perform other vital bodily processes. After all, a human being is 50% – 65% water.
However, eating junk food once in a while doesn’t do you any harm, making it a habit can have adverse effects as your body has to function on what you eat.
Complete detail of all our nutrients requirements are in this article.
Tip # 3: Say NO to aggressive dieting
If you understood the first eating healthy tip about why the human body needs food you will agree that dieting is just not right for you. It is extremely unhealthy to diet, and the results don’t last. I see people dieting aggressively and then springing back to more than then their pre-diet weight after just one month of normal eating; the results won’t last. Why do they spring bag even fatter? The answer to this requires a whole article to itself. I’ll explain that in an another article.
For now know that aggressive dieting is not healthy for you, as your body is regenerating cells all the time and you are taking its essential nutrition away. It will damage your bones, your muscles, your liver, your skin, your hair, your nails, your heart etc.
Tip # 4: Say No to Sugar
You just don’t need sugar, everything in nature has the right amount of sweetness, bitterness, sourness and tastelessness in it already. Mangos are sweet; lemon is sour, Bitter Melon (Karela) is bitter, water is tasteless etc. Adding sugar to milk is just pointless, you are ruining a perfectly healthy drink. And trust me these are just habits. I use to add sugar in my milk when I was a kid, and now I can’t even think of adding sugar. My taste has developed for milk without sugar.