Coronavirus has made everyone stay indoors. The lockdown, which started as a 21-day long experiment, has been extended till May 3, making it extremely important for everyone to be careful about what they eat. This is needed as one has to be home the whole day and look for ways to be active with fewer resources. Also, it is becoming increasingly clear that amidst the onslaught of mixed marketing messages, the ever-increasing list of new food products and exciting innovations, confusing and continuously changing nutrition research, a tremendous change in your comfort and convenience can make your health suffer. One should know what to eat and when to eat for complete health and wellness.
Here are four such essential tips and changes that we need to make during this lockdown phase for a completely healthy you:
Identification of processed food
It is necessary to learn to distinguish between mechanical and chemical processing. The problem is not mechanical processing (grinding and packaging of food), but chemical processing, which involves improving taste by adding artificial chemicals, including long-term preservation, etc. Preservatives, colour, flavour additives and textures are some other aspects of chemically-processed food.
TIP: One should opt for sprouted foods as sprouting increases the amount and absorbency of certain nutrients, making it extremely healthy to consume.
‘Anti-sugar’ to ‘Anti-added sugar’
Not all sugar is made in one way. In western countries, companies have been asked to differentiate between added sugar and naturally present sugar on food labels. This means one should know the difference between natural sweetness and added sweetness. Added sugar means something that is added extra to make anything taste sweet. Sugar, in such products, is added during their preparation like sweetened drinks. Sugar in this form is extremely unhealthy, especially for those who are on the obese side.
TIP: Having extra sugar that what is required leads to various health concerns, example excess weight, raised blood sugar levels, etc.
Omega 3 VS Omega 6
We read about the importance of Omega 3 all the time because these are valuable nutrients. However, apart from knowing everything about Omega 3, it is also essential to know about Omega 6 too. If Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are not taken in the right proportions, it inadvertently makes one prone to heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, early ageing, and even some forms of cancer. Therefore it is essential that not only increase the intake of Omega 3 but also reduce the amount of Omega 6 fatty acids in our food.
TIP: One should eat more of fatty fish, flax seeds and walnuts and reduce the use of vegetable oils, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat, artificial butter and packaged food products.
Knowing The Hidden Salt
Our body needs only 500 mg of sodium every day. It is also acceptable for an adult to consume up to about 2,400 mg daily. Nevertheless, most of us often consume about 3,000 – 4,000 milligrams of sodium a day quickly. It is very high, and most of it is hidden in processed food products we eat. It is necessary to read the label carefully. Hidden salt can be found in canned foods to papad, even ketchup and bread. If more than 1.5 grams of salt or more than 0.6 grams of sodium are mentioned in 100 grams, then one should not eat that.
TIP: Do not rely on processed food always. Work towards eating everything healthy and fresh as fresh produce and food is enriched with necessary nutrients.
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