Healthy Lifestyle: Important healthy habits:
1. Eating healthy breakfast:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you energy to start a new day, but breakfast is linked to many health benefits, including weight control, improved performance, improved concentration and performance in classroom or at work, more strength and endurance to engage in physical activity, and lower cholesterol levels.
2. Eating more vegetables:
Green vegetables are the number one food you can eat regularly to help improve your health. That’s because leafy vegetables are rich in fibers along with vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from heart diseases, diabetes, and even cancer. Take 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables daily.
3. Eating more fruits:
Fruits are sources of many essential nutrients including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate. Also, fruits have a positive effect on brain as they have natural sugars.
It is recommended to eat 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits daily.
4. Intake of starchy foods:
Starchy foods should make up to 1/3rd of every meal. It means that your meals should be based on these foods. These foods include whole grains (wheat, oats and barley), whole wheat breads, and whole wheat pasta. Some vegetables like potatoes and peas are also starchy vegetables.
You should take at least 5 to 7 servings per day.
5. Drinking enough water
Every system in our body depends on water. The body needs water and the other fluids to help digest food, cool the body and move nutrients and wastes through the body. Fluid needs depend on age, gender, body size, and activity level. Lack of water can lead to dehydration; even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you feel tired.
It is recommended to drink up to 3 liters of water for men and up to 2 liters of water for women.
6. Eating slowly:
A research suggests that eating slowly can help you consume less calories as it makes you feel full sooner.
7. Limiting sugar intake:
It is recommended to avoid added sugar in teas and coffee. Use healthy natural sweeteners only, and avoid sugar sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, iced tea, energy drinks and flavored waters. In addition to limiting high sugar desserts, baked goods like muffins and donuts, granola bars, cakes, cookies, candy, cereals, jams should also be avoided. Always make sure you read the nutrition labels, and choose foods with little or no added sugar.
8. Reducing salt intake:
Reduce salt by cutting down on adding salt at the table and limiting intake of processed and packaged foods (i.e. canned or package soups and salted meats,). Also avoid salty snacks foods such as potato chips and pretzels.
Try shifting to all-natural sea salt.
9. Consuming more organic foods:
Organic foods provide variety of benefits. It is GMO free, Genetically Modified Organisms or Genetically Engineered (GE) foods are plants or animals whose DNA has been altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
Organic fruits and vegetables contain fewer pesticides, and usually fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives.
10. Consuming less processed foods.
Processed foods include; canned vegetables, soups, sauces, chips and cereals. Processed foods are usually high in sugar and high fructose corn syrup. These foods are usually high in refined carbohydrates which contribute to obesity.
11. Be smart when you eat outside:
- Choose small portions
- Share your meals with others.
- If you feel full, don’t force yourself to complete your dish, you can take it to home.
- Choose low fat, low salt, sugar free meals.
- Eat your meal without adding mayonnaise, cheese, cream.
- Choose fresh juices instead soft drinks.
12. Be physically active
Regular physical activity and exercise helps you maintain healthy body weight and also helps to reduce your risk of developing medical conditions. It is important for overall wellbeing. You must do 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week (25 minutes per day for 6 days a week) to stay physically active.
For additional benefits, do 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity (15 minutes per day for 5 days a week or 10 minutes for 6 days a week)
Dr. Tahir Yunus
Broadway Plastic Surgery Address: 240-C, Broadway, DHA Phase 8, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan