It’s a famous phrase “You Are What You Eat” but only few of us are fully aware of its meaning. Eating healthy food is very essential in order to enjoy life. Eating well does not require eating expensive or unusual foods. Simple foods from the basic food groups will serve your body and nourish it to contribute to your overall health. According to National Institute of Health, Food supplies the nutrients needed to fuel your body so you can perform your best. Go, Slow, WHOA is a simple way to recognize foods that are the smartest choices.
“GO” Foods: Eat almost anytime (Most often) — they are lowest in fat, added sugar, and calories. For eg. Whole grains and pulses, Fresh fruits and vegetables, Dairy products.
“SLOW” Foods: Eat sometimes (Less often) — they are higher in fat, added sugar, and/or calories. For E.g. Processed food items, Red meat etc
“WHOA” Foods: Eat once in a while (Least often) — they are very high in fat and/or added sugar, and are much higher in calories. E.g, Aerated drinks, sweets, Fried items, etc
To be healthy in each decade of life, you need to follow certain essential points.
Teenage and Eating!
Before you eat the next candy bar think about it, if that is going to improve your health or make it worse. Most teens do not realize what they are eating or why they are eating. The teenage years are the most important time to watch what you are eating as these are body development years and we mostly form our eating habits during these years. There are certain guidelines that need to be followed by each and every teenager.
Do not eat when you are not hungry!
If you get the need to crunch or chew food when you are not hungry, eat something low in calories such as a fruit or a couple of nuts.
Drink at least 4 to 8 glasses of water a day, depending on how active you are, and how hot it is at your location.
Check food labels.
Always eat a good, hearty breakfast!
Eat your dinner earlier.
Avoid regular intake of fast food and junk food (French fries, pizza, etc.)
Limit your intake on sweets.
Fill up half your plate with veggies.
Adults and Eating!
With advancing age, certain changes occur in the body. In thirties you may feel slowing of metabolism plus difficulty in losing weight. Your diet should be planned in such a way that it fulfils the body requirement according to physiological changes.
One should include whole grains, good quality proteins and healthy fat sources in daily diet.
There should be a regular exercise routine to help keep body healthy and fit and prevent extra deposits of fat to be stored in body cells.
Females have various stages of hormonal changes during adulthood, from pregnancy to menopause. They should take care of their daily diet, activity pattern and extra supplementation, when required to combat with various body changes physically and physiologically.
Intake of vitamins, minerals and fibre should be increased depending of gender and that of fat and sweets should be reduced as body does not require any extra nutrition for growth and development.
Old age and Eating
The old age is the risk factor for various diseases. Chances of cancers are more here. So one should take extra care. All the body functions tend to slow down, muscles become weak and lose. This stage of life demands extra conscious effort and discipline in daily routine. Consumption of alcohol and smoking should be minimum. Small and frequent meal pattern should be followed. One should consume 4 to 6 meals in a day. This will reduce any kind of stress and enhance the metabolism. Plenty of fresh fruits & vegetables and omega 3 fatty acids should necessarily be added in the diet.
Irrespective of the age group we belong to, one should always be conscious of his eating habits and lifestyle. For example:
One should read labels carefully before buying any food item and chose from healthier alternatives.
One should eat fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
One should go for regular health checkups.
One should take experts advice to help in planning a balanced diet and exercise pattern according to body’s requirement.
One should take recommended amount of daily water and sleep.
One should prefer eating home-cooked and fresh meals.
One should not indulge in fried items, sweets, alcohol and smoking.
A healthy lifestyle might take a little extra effort from your side to build and implement but the benefits that one gets of following a balanced and healthy routine are numerous. It’s worth the effort made!