Reducing the amount of fat you eat is not the only way to improve your diet. Aim to eat a wide variety of fresh, non-processed food every day and your diet will not only be low in fat, but you will also get all nutrients your body needs to stay vigorous and healthy.
Choose Carbohydrates for Satisfaction
For a healthy diet, we need to structure each meal around a base of starchy carbohydrates because they supply us with low-fat form of energy as well as B vitamins and some calcium, iron and fibre. These carbohydrate foods help to fill us up, too, so we do not pine for succulent, high-fat dishes. All types of cereal food contain fibre, but wholegrain products, such as whole meal bread and pasta and brown rice, provide most.
A healthy diet should include plenty of bread, breakfast cereals, bulgur wheat. Cornmeal, maize, millet, noodles, oats, pasta, potatoes, pulses and rice. However, you must avoid frying these foods, spreading lots of fat on your bread, and heaping with sauces onto pasta or rice dishes.
Ease Up On Protein Foods
Protein is part of the structure of every cell in our bodies and as the cells are constantly drying, they need continual replacement. Most of us know that diet is important for building and maintaining our bodies so we tend to eat much food than we need. This can be harmful because any surplus is broken down to release energy, which is stored in our bodies as fat. As the table (below left) show, adult men need only 55 g (2 oz) of protein a day and women need just 45 g (1 ½ oz).
Good sources of protein include milk and hard cheeses, in which about 20-30 per cent of the weight is protein; meat and fish with about 20 per cent; and beans, peas and lentils with 5 per cent. Most other vegetables and fruit have less than 5 per cent. Choose lean or reduced-fat sources of protein, so that you do not eat too much fat alongside your protein.
Daily Protein Needs
11-14 years (boys)
11-14 years (girls)
15-18 years (boys)
15-18 years (girls)
Men over 18
Women over 18
Don’t Stint On Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are highly nutritious but add comparatively few calories to the diet. They are packed with vitamins such as A.C and E, a host of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, and other active compounds which help to protect against cancer and heart disease. With the exception of avocado pears, which are high in unsaturated fat, fruit and vegetables are also virtually fat-free. The department of Health recommends that we eat 400 g (14 oz) of fruit and vegetables a day. The motto is: ‘fresh, frozen, cooked, raw, it doesn’t matter, just eat more’.
Eat Plenty of Fibre
Eating plenty of foods rich in fibre, such as whole meal bread, wholegrain cereals fruit and vegetables, can help to protect your health. Insoluble fibre, found mainly in wholegrain cereals and nuts, helps to prevent constipation and by speeding the passage of food through the intestine, can help to reduce the risk of colonic and bowel cancer. Soluble fibre, found principally in pulses and oats such as porridge oats, has been shown to help to help to reduce blood cholesterol.
At least 18 g of fibre a day is recommended, which is easily achieved. For instance, one slice of whole meal bread provides 2 g of fibre and fits comfortably into the daily diet.
Go Easy On Salt
There are two schools of thought on sodium and blood pressure. There are those who say that a high intake definitely raises blood pressure and we should cut back as much as possible and there are those who say that only some people are susceptible to high intake. Since there is no easy way of telling whether you are susceptible or not, it is best to favour caution: use as little salt as possible in your cooking and do not add any at the table.
Watch out for ‘hidden’ salt in ingredients such as soy sauce, anchovies and smoked fish, and in processed food.
Where the levels can be high. Stock cubes, for example, are generally very salty, so it is better to make your own stock to add a really rich, deep flavor to your food. Other ways to compensate for less salt in food include using top-quality ingredients with lots of natural flavor, generously sprinkling food with fresh herbs and using salty cheeses, such as feta and blue cheeses. Cutting back on salt may make food seem bland at first, but your taste buds will soon adapt.
Important Note: The articles presented are provided by third party authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of KhanaPakana.com. They should not be considered as medical advice or diagnosis. Consult with your physician prior to following any suggestions provided.