In the past few months, amid the pandemic, the consumption of healthy foods has increased significantly. Most people have become health conscious with their eating habits and have switched to organic foods like fruits, grains, green leafy vegetables, dairy products, etc.
Eating healthy and eating a balanced diet has a number of advantages. It boosts your immune system and keeps you energized, prevents diseases like diabetes and heart problems, improves your body’s ability to fight infections, and most importantly, keeps you on your toes.
However, some people have mixed thoughts when it comes to consuming certain foods while cutting down some foods that are necessary for healthy health. In this regard, nutritionists are the right professionals to turn to such advice.
Kripa Jalan, CEO / Founder of Burgers To Beasts with an MPH in Nutrition from Harvard University and a Certified Nutritionist, shares 5 amazing balanced diet tips to incorporate into your fitness program. Plus, she shared some pros and cons for an effective healthy lifestyle.
5 balanced nutrition tips in your pocket
1) Eating healthy fats: Fats have been controversial in the past but are eventually, albeit slowly, being viewed as essential to our health. You are no longer the disease-causing villain we made you for. Of course, the type is important. Trans fats are an absolute no-no when it comes to maintaining good health. When you eat healthy fats like coconut, avocado, olive oil, and ghee with vegetables, your body can make better use of the fat-soluble vitamins. Nuts and seeds are also good sources.
2) Include plants in your diet: We’ve made health too complicated to avoid, count calories, and weigh our food with our extensive lists of foods – and despite all these rules, we’re not getting any better. It just doesn’t have to be that complicated. Plant diversity. That’s it. That’s all you need to remember. If you follow this one rule, it will lead to better health. The greatest predictor of a healthy gut microbiome is the diversity of plants in the diet.
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3) Limit processed foods: Consume more food grown in the soil and less food processed and packaged by humans in factories, i.e. limit the number of processed foods in your diet.
4) Drink enough: Not only does water keep things moving in the body, it also affects the level of your physical and cognitive performance. Sometimes thirst makes you hungry, which is why it is so important to drink at least 10-12 glasses of water a day.
5) Sleep 7-9 hours a day: Sleep is an important cornerstone of an energetic, joyful, and healthy life. Unfortunately, it’s usually the first thing we compromise when life gets busy. Realizing your sleep schedule is just as important as anything else on your calendar, which will have a huge impact on your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. ⠀ So a good night’s sleep helps balance hunger, cravings and blood sugar and thus lower blood sugar the risk of pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and even sleep apnea.
Considering what a pandemic has done to our mental health, Kripa has also shared some pros and cons of effectively living a healthy lifestyle.
1) 90% of chronic illnesses are caused or made worse by stress. It’s impossible to eliminate in this hyper-connected world, but you can certainly find ways to better manage it.
2) Include spices. Not only do they add flavor to your meals, but some of them have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties as well.
3) Move on purpose. Exercise promotes lymph circulation, the body’s own waste disposal unit that clears toxic waste from our body. The human body was designed to be agile. Purposely try to stand and walk around your home / office for a few minutes every hour. Combine that with 3-4 workouts per week and you’re golden.
1) Limit the amount of added sugars in your diet (not natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables). These are highly inflammatory and suppress the immune response.
2) Refined vegetable oils and seed oils are also best avoided when it comes to this spectrum of inflammation, gut health, and wellbeing. This includes corn, rapeseed and sunflower oils.
3) Minimize your refined carbohydrate intake and try to keep your glycemic load relatively low with whole grains like millet.
When asked whether or not a stable diet is compulsory, Kripa replied, “We need to look at our health from a preventive lens, not something that is resorted to in emergencies. More than restrictive diets, habits are important. When consistency sets in, a pattern is created, and so is good nutrition. Everyone needs to have a few healthy habits when it comes to food – be it constant hydration, enough vegetables, or limiting sugar. However, for most people, a 3 to 4 hour break between meals is perfectly fine – provided they have no health concerns. “
“Aim well enough, not perfect – follow the 80-20 principle. I don’t want you to feel burdened by the lifestyle changes I suggest. I want you to enjoy the opportunity to feel better about yourself and to stay that way for the long term. “