Eating is essential for living, we all know that. But what you eat is essential for healthy living, and that’s something where many of us fail.
According to a 2008 study by the Health Authority, Some 70% of UAE residents over the age 18 are considered overweight or obese. This high body mass is a leading cause of cardiovascular and circulatory diseases, diabetes, and some musculoskeletal disorders. Changing eating habits now, and starting good eating habits for children, can help to stave off these types of nutritional diseases and extend life expectancy.
It’s important to understand that your diet directly influences your entire body including the way your brain interacts with your body, and vice versa. Poor diet can affect the neurochemistry in your brain, which in turn reflects in your mood and stress response. Learning, memory, and intelligence are also affected by the types of foods you eat.
It’s not a hopeless thing. Some simple steps can start leading you to a healthier lifestyle and a longer life.
Look for variety in your food choices, including lots of fresh, colorful vegetables. Spinach, carrots, blueberries, melons, and all seasonal fruits and vegetables provide plenty of nutrition, fiber, and flavor. Use minimal preparation to get the most benefit from the active vitamins and minerals.
Look for variety in your daily meals. Have whole grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and meats in moderation throughout the day. Overloading on carbohydrates, like processed breads or fried foods, can be filling but provide little nutrition. They can also cause a sluggish feeling which is hard to shake.
Watch your salt intake. It may not be necessary to remove it completely from your meal planning, but it doesn’t need to be a main component of a recipe.
Reduce or eliminate caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, processed sugars, and over processed or chemically preserved foods. These items can create a ripple effect, creating a feeling of wellbeing or energy for a short while. Then your levels crash and you crave more to get the jump again. It’s probably the hardest part of the cycle of bad eating to break.
Get more exercise. Even just walking more each day, can help boost your metabolism and actually help your muscles and joints by improving strength, elasticity, and flexibility.
Have patience with yourself and others while shifting to a new nutritional regime. It takes time to develop new habits, especially when the old ones are often associated with fond memories of comfort, familiarity, and a sense of yummiest. And always check with your physician or a registered nutritionist before you make major changes, especially if you are on certain medications.
Remember, everything is about balance. An occasional treat does not mean you need to give up on your goal of better eating. Finding the balance in good foods and meals will hopefully carry you through for many health filled years to come.
“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”
― Thomas Edison