In our hectic lifestyle today, we actually cannot keep a tab on the kind of food we are putting into our system. Meeting deadlines and arranging for presentations; it’s a rat race out there. The result is, many a time we land up munching on junk food/fast food and sipping on countless coffees. These improper eating habits lead to problems like acidity, constipation, anaemia, lethargy and even irregular periods in women. If neglected, an excess of junk food could even cause colon cancers, diabetes, heart trouble, hypertension, ulcers etc. at a later stage in life.
We get accustomed to suppress the minor illnesses with over-the-counter medications. But this is harmful because they only curb the illness temporarily while causing damage to some or the other organ in our body. These days we hear of cases of men and women in their late 20’s or early 30’s who suffer from diseases like diabetes, heart trouble etc. which was rather rare in our past generations. If you wish to live a moderately healthy life then you could let your hair loose and indulge in junk food about once a week. We too can live a good, healthy life if we are a bit careful about what we choose to eat. Read on the following guidelines to know how to do so…
1. Balance is the key:
If you are supposed to dine on heavy, high calorie food in the evening, either at a party or some wedding reception you must learn to balance it. Try and have a fruit salad (without any dressing, of course!) and some soup in the afternoon and then you can enjoy the heavy meal for dinner (without any guilt).
2. Munch on a digestive:
Junk food is void of fibre, therefore too much of it leads to constipation and unhealthy bowels. If you’ve eaten junk food for lunch, you could munch on some digestive biscuits later in the evening. This will give you the required fibre for the day.
3. A dash of lime:
Form the habit of sprinkling lime juice on your food (gravies, starters etc.) and include lime juice (with little or no sugar) in your meals as a drink instead of the usual soft drink. Lime has Vitamin C which boosts your immune system and makes you stronger.
4. Tea time nibbles:
Store some low calorie, baked snacks and biscuits which are low in sodium. This way when you crave for snacks at tea time, you’ll fill up yourself with the healthy options.
5. Addicted to caffeine:
Too much of tea or coffee is detrimental to health as it makes you dehydrated. 2- 3 cups of tea or coffee a day would be quite okay.
6. Impure white:
Maida/ rice flour is not good for your intestines. The bonding in the flour is so strong that it actually sticks to our stomach making digestion difficult. This leads to constipation; and constipation is the root cause of many diseases. You could instead ask for a wheat roti/paratha when dining in a restaurant. Choose brown bread or multigrain breads for your sandwiches. Noodles made from maida are unhealthy too; cook some hakka noodles instead.
7. Healthy alternatives:
Processed foods are not nourishing as they have actually gone through many processes from its raw form till they are made, ready to be eaten. They also have chemicals and preservatives which cause harm in the long run. Cheese, sauces, tinned fruits etc. are some forms of processed foods. It is best that you develop the habit of eating more of fresh chutneys with your snacks, instead of sauces and ketchups. Packaged foods, i.e. foods that are ready to eat are rather detrimental to our health. They are usually high in monosodium glutamate, called ajinomoto (Chinese foods) an intake of which causes certain cancers. Also restaurant foods are not only stale but are also high in soda bi carb., known as food soda. This is used to cook lentils and meat faster but it eventually causes colds and weakening of our bones.
8. Work on it:
15 to 20 mins of exercising at least thrice a week is a must in order to live a good, healthy life. Walking up to the bus stop or bending and stretching while working in the kitchen does not surmount to exercising. Cycling, going for walks, doing cardio work outs are some of the examples of what could be counted as exercising.
9. Go nuts:
That’s right! Nuts like almonds, pistachios and other dry fruits are high in cholesterol but they contain good cholesterol; if eaten in moderation they are actually good for your heart and health. In fact, gram (chana) is better than groundnuts as it has more protein comparatively.
10. Dressed to work:
Roadside eatables and restaurant food is usually made attractive with colours and essences which enhance their appearance and the aroma but the chemicals used in them can cause certain cancers in the long run. There are chances of stale food being heated and decorated in restaurants in such a way that you would not realise that what is served to you is yesterdays leftover. Such food is not at all nutritious and infected with bacteria. Stay away from such food, more so during the monsoons when diseases like cholera and malaria are spread rather easily.