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Right eating habits vital for healthy living

Right eating habits vital for healthy living

  • Mariam Saleh, Clinical Dietitian at American Hospital Dubai

 

 

Modern living with its dependency on smart technology and automated vehicles has led to a sedentary lifestyle, increasing the risk of lifestyle diseasesin the UAE. Add to this an increase in energy and fat-rich dietplus reduced levels of physical activity and poor eating habits have made people prone toobesityand other health problems that affect not just adults, but also children.  

 

 People in Dubai have easy access to a variety of restaurants and food outlets that offer the best of international cuisine from all over the world. There are also various food products available in the shopping malls and recreational facilities that can tempt anyone at any time of the day. However, eating out is not always a healthy option. A more careful dietand some meaningful changes in thelifestyle andeating habitscan make a significant difference in combating obesityin the region.

 

Here are the healthy lifestyleand nutritionadvice to ward off the evils of being obese.

 

-    Balance your foodintake and exercise level to achieve and maintain appropriate body weight.

-    Eat a variety of foods to get adequate nutrition, including lean proteins coming from chicken and fish.

-    Reduce red and processed meat consumption and include proteins from pulses.

-    Include a variety of fruit and vegetables in your daily dietplanning.

-    Purchase locally produced food as they are usually fresh and in season, with fewer preservatives and are environmentally sustainable. Organically grown fruits and vegetables are readily available in UAE from local farms. Opt for organic produce when possible as it is higher in antioxidants and phenols that support in fighting and preventing certain chronic diseases. This is because pesticide residues are far less in organic produce and there is a restriction in the use of food additives like preservatives, coloring and flavoring agents in the organic food.

-    Increase carbohydrates consumption from whole grains and avoid simple sugars especially in sweets, soft drinks and juices.

-    Consume less fat and saturated fat by reducing deep fried food, oils, cheese and creams and convenience food.

-    Limit or omit consuming foods high in sodium or added salt like chips, nuts, pickles and processed foods.

-    Dare to spice your food; studies show that herbs and spices offer health benefits. They boost food flavors without extra calories and may decrease the amount of salt, fat, and sugar. Polyphenols, a type of plant compound, offer healthbenefits associated with herbs and spices.

-  Drink enough water and fluids. Dehydration is common around the world but especially in hot, humid countries such as the UAE. Water has a direct role in maintaining bodytemperature, besides essential physiologic and metabolic functions. It is the best hydrating fluid, and can be coupled with fruit and herbal teas; Avoid caffeinated beverages, soft drinks and juices.

 

By following these simple lifestylechanges, you will notice significant changes not just in your body, but also your mind.