Aging is part of nature and cannot be avoided. Most people wish and try to look younger or maintain a youthful look by using makeup as they age. Looking young is not just about taking care of yourself externally. You have to be concerned about what goes inside your body because they contribute to physical wellbeing. The food you choose to eat helps you age better both inwardly and outwardly. A number of factors work together to make us look young!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW…
- There is nothing like “bad food”; but too much of everything is bad!
It’s been scientifically proven that excessive consumption of fat, salt, sugary foods, and others can lead to certain non- communicable diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes respectively.
- The number of calories in food might be high or low depending on the glycemic index and the carbohydrate content in the food and not by appearance.
- You need a healthy lifestyle to keep you looking young. This is long term and much preferred to a combination of unhealthy eating and continuous detox plan in an attempt to lose weight or maintain a certain desired weight.
- A healthy lifestyle includes healthy food choices/healthy eating, an appropriate serving of food, a good physical activity level and a good ability to manage stress.
WHAT IS HEALTHY EATING?
Healthy eating means eating a nutrient-rich/balanced diet in their right quantities from all the six (6) food groups. The six food groups include; cereals and cereal products, animal products, root, tubers and plantain, legumes, nuts, and oily seeds, fat and oils and fruits, and vegetables.
These food groups are further grouped into three (3) main functional groups which help for easy identification of their major food nutrient.
- Energy giving foods: carbohydrate and lipid-rich sources. Examples are plantain, yam, maize, rice, margarine, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.
- 2. Bodybuilding foods: rich sources of protein. Examples are poultry, pork, meat, milk, shrimps, “wagashie”, beans, soya beans, tiger nuts, groundnuts, cashew nuts, etc.
- Protective foods: rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They contain very low calories, help control and maintain a good glucose level. For example, orange, mango, grapefruit, raspberry, banana, watermelon, kontomire, okra, carrot, lettuce, spinach, etc.
Options from each of the three (3) functional food groups in their right quantities will make a healthy meal any day!
HEARD OF THE HEALTHY EATING PLATE?
I’m sure this sounds very interesting to you. Let’s see what this healthy eating plate is all about!
The healthy eating plate is divided into three portions.
One portion is for carbohydrates; choose healthy carbohydrates (whole grains preferably).
Another portion is for proteins; this part consists of both healthy proteins (lean poultry /fish) and healthy fat and oils (sunflower oil/olive oil).
The last portion is for fruits and vegetables.
Not forgetting water or tea on the side! Hot de-caffeinated tea or any flavored tea with no sugar, also works!
This plate will always keep you healthy and looking young.
Your meal timings are very important. The appropriate time to eat and what exactly to eat is a vital part of healthy eating. Most people skip breakfast which is the most important meal of the day! Why do you want to put yourself at risk of poor metabolic boost and low energy levels throughout your day? Many people have no idea or probably little knowledge about appropriate times to eat in the day.
Let’s go straight to the point with a time table.
MEAL TIMINGS AND WHAT TO EAT
MEALS TIME FOOD
Breakfast 6-8:30 am A meal (check healthy eating plate to
make a healthy combination)
Mid-morning snack 10-10:30am A fruit/a bowl of healthy vegetable
salad without cream
Lunch 12-1:30 pm Any healthy meal combinations of your choice
Mid-afternoon snack 3-3:30 pm A fruit/ a bowl of vegetable salad (optional)
Supper 5-6 pm Any healthy meal of your choice
Bedtime snack 8-9 pm A fruit/a bowl of light soup (optional)
This is a good way to spread your meals throughout the day. I’m sure you are wondering if this way of eating wouldn’t rather make you gain weight. It would not if you choose healthy foods as explained earlier.
I would like you to know that, this meal plan is not a rigid/strict one. Changes can be made looking at the amount of calories you need for the day. See your dietitian to help you plan your meals.
WHAT MANY RUN AWAY FROM!
Yes! Many run away from physical exercise which is equally important in keeping you young for so long and probably until old age.
Physical exercise is any bodily activity that aids or enhances fitness and health. Physical exercise is supposed to be planned, structured and done consistently. It is better to have a short and regular exercising plan than to exercise for long hours occasionally.
For example, it is better to do 30-45 minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week than to exercise 2-4 hours once a week. The amount of energy you gain from eating food should match the amount of physical activity you do so that you can maintain a good weight (food intake versus energy used by the body). If you gain more energy from your meals than what your body needs or uses, you will gain more weight. Physical exercise will help you burn off excess fat or energy that you might have stored in your body.
There are many different types of exercises you can do daily or every other day. Dancing, swimming, brisk walking, skipping and jogging are options you can choose. Physical exercise is good for the body so don’t shy from it. Just decide to take a step into healthy living and stay young!
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