Check out these easy diet tips to help optimise nutrition and good health
People are slowly becoming more health conscious and are trying to better themselves but there is so much information out there, some of which is passed off as fitness myths. Here are some top eating tips by diet experts to help optimise nutrition and good health
Many people miss on the five major nutrients i.e. proteins, fats, carbohydrates (sugars, dietary fiber), vitamins and minerals which drive biological activity, keep the body in good working condition, build muscles, bones, teeth and blood and produce energy (power and heat). According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, more than 80% of Indians do not meet the “my plate for the day” (NIN) recommendation of nearly 500g of vegetables and fruits that account for at least 8% of the daily calorie intake which a healthy diet needs.
However, there has been a shift and slowly people are becoming more health conscious and are trying to better themselves but there is so much information out there and some of them are passed off as fitness myths. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Deepti Jain, Nutritionist and Health Coach at Chicnutrix suggested top 7 tips to help optimise nutrition and good health:
1. Eat slowly and consciously while ensuring you chew your food well. Try and make sure that there are no distractions such as work/TV etc. while eating. Digestion actually starts in your mouth and subsequently tells the body to get ready for food. Chewing thoroughly also allows your brain to know when you are full and helps break down your food, therefore, ensuring better digestion and less bloating. Also try and eat your meals at the same time every day. This will keep your metabolism and digestion in check!
2. Eat from all food groups! Include a widespread range of unrefined foods in your diet to ensure you are getting a large variety of vitamins and minerals. Make sure to also include raw vegetables in your diet to maximise the amount of vitamins and minerals you get from them. Cooking (especially at high temperatures) can remove some of the nutrients.
3. Use only good quality fats in your diet. Low quality/cheap oils turn rancid quickly. Use coconut oil, mustard oil, sesame oil or ghee for high temperature cooking and olive oil for salads.
4. Eat only good quality carbohydrates. These include seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as whole-grains. Why not change things up a little and try whole-wheat pasta, quinoa and oats as well as our Indian staples such as whole-wheat flour, jowar, bajra and ragi etc. along with legumes and pulses. Not only are they more filling and nutritious, but they also provide long lasting energy.
5. It might seem obvious, but stay hydrated! Lack of water can cause lethargy, dizziness/light-headedness and constipation. Not to mention a constantly dry parched mouth.
6. Realise that your spice cabinet is a treasure trove! Spices such as haldi, dhaniya, curry patta, jeera and dal chini etc. are not only anti-inflammatory but they are also known to help with insulin resistance and help boost up your metabolic rate while fighting off cardiovascular disease.
7. Not an obvious one but please try and stop using non-stick cookware in the kitchen. Chemicals in the Teflon coating have been linked to various types of cancer and tumours. Cast iron is a great alternative as once seasoned it is naturally non-stick, plus you get the added benefit of it imparting extra iron in your food.
Asserting the importance of good nutrition, Rishi Bhel, Sports and clinical nutritionist at Fast&Up, recommended:
1. Focus on food macros and not just calories - Food macros consist of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The focus should be on accounting macros followed by calorie intake. A good nutrition plan needs to be tailored made depending on an individual’s goals for which accounting food macros is imperative. In case an individual wants to lose weight and is on calorie deficit yet consuming only carbs it does not work.
2. Focus on protein - Most goals whether its weight loss and muscle building and gaining lean bulk require adequate protein intake. Hence ensure there is adequate protein intake depending upon an individual’s goal and gender.
3. Hydration - Ensure adequate water intake throughout the day. An approach to following adequate hydration is to add a flavoring system to the water intake. Like consuming green tea, electrolytes drinks, coconut water, chamomile tea, etc which makes the hydration journey achievable.
4. Importance of micronutrients and supplements - Vitamins and minerals are imperative for organs in the human body to function optimally. An individual should consume vitamin D, C, Joint Support, Psyllium Husk, Muscle building Supplements like BCAA and whey protein isolate, etc for optimal health.
5. Good nutrition tied to full body medical tests atleast once a year - A full body medical test that includes components like vitamin deficiency, blood count, thyroid, lipid profile, testosterone, etc should be conducted atleast once a year. It should be reviewed with a clinical and sports nutritionist or a doctor and followed by a tailored made nutrition plan for health improvement.
6. Intermittent fasting for men vs women - Intermittent fasting is different for men vs women. While it is recommended for men for anti-aging, brain health, weight loss, etc. With recent research, Intermittent fasting is not recommended for women. Since women’s hormones reach differently as compared to men and IF has shown to make the metabolism weaker in case of women and more prone to insulin insensitivity
7. Fiber - Ensure your diet has enough fiber in the diet. Consider even Psyllium husk supplementation incase of cholesterol disorders. Fiber helps regulate sugar in the human body.
So why not try incorporating these tips into your daily life and see what a difference they make to your overall health!