Men's Articles

A Healthier Diet For A Healthier You


Making sensible food choice will go a long way towards a healthier life.

5 Vital Components Of Food

Carbohydrates

Good sources of carbohydrates include bread, rice, pasta, cereals and potatoes. These provide energy for the body.

Proteins

Meat, poultry, fish, beans and dairy products are rich sources of proteins. Proteins are needed for growth.

Fats

Fats are found in meat and dairy products. Fats supply energy, but many of us eat fat too much fat. There are 2 types of fats - saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats (e.g. lard, ghee) raise the amount of cholesterol in the blood and increase the risk of getting heart disease and strokes.

Vitamins And Minerals

Vitamins and Minerals are required for growth and repair of tissues. Rich sources of vitamins and minerals include vegetables, fruits and fish. If you are eating a balanced diet, you won't need vitamin supplements.

Fibre

Fibre-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals and wholemeal bread. Fibre helps in digestion, prevents constipation and helps prevent cancer of the large intestine.

Rules Of Healthy Eating

Eat A Variety Of Food By eating a variety of food from each of the basic food groups - rice and alternatives, meat and alternatives, fruits and vegetables - you should meet all your dietary needs.

Eat A Well-Balanced Diet

Carbohydrates should provide 60 to 60 % of your energy needs, proteins 7 to 15%, and fats 25 to 30%.

Don't Overeat!

Energy from the food we eat should equal the energy we use up. Excess calories are converted and stored as fat! If you are underweight, take more but stay active. If you are overweight, take less and exercise more.

Cutting Down On Fat, Sugar And Salt

Too much fat, sugar and salt is bad for our health. How do they harm us and how can we cut down on them!

Banishing The Fats

Many fast foods (e.g. fried chicken and beef burgers) are loaded with fat. Too much cholesterol, from eating fat-laden food, leads to atherosclerosis. This is the build-up of fatty deposits on the inside wall of blood vessels which cuts down the blood supply to muscles, you can get a heart attack. On the other hand, you can get a stroke if there is not enough blood reaching the brain. It is not difficult to replace the saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet.

Here Are Some Helpful Tips

  • Choose foods cooked using poly-unsaturated fats (e.g. corn oil or soya bean oil) rather than saturated fats (e.g. lard or coconut oil).
  • Eat less deep-fried foods. Instead, go for steamed, boiled, roasted and baked dishes.
  • Eat less organ meat (liver, kidney, brain), red meat (beef, mutton, pork) and some seafood like squid and prawns. Instead eat more vegetables, beancurd, fish and skinless chicken.
  • Switch to low-fat or skim mile and milk products.

Shutting Out Sugar

Sugar is only useful for providing short spurts of energy. Excess sugar in our body is converted to fat. Train yourself to take less sugar. For desserts and snacks, eat fresh fruit juices or mineral water.

Watch The Salt

Too much salt in our diet can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure may result in heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. The body needs orals; 1 teaspoon of salt a day but many of us add salt to everything we eat, before we have even tasted our food!

Here Are Some Ways To Cut Down On Salt

  • Use spices, ginger, garlic and herbs for flavoring instead of using commercial seasoning preparations and monosodium glutamate.
  • Eat more fresh meat and vegetables. Processed and preserved foods have a higher salt content.
  • Avoid salty snacks like prawn crackers and salted peanuts.
  • Eat more at home and less at hawker stalls and fast food restaurants. You can control the amount of salt used in your own kitchen.

A Salt With A Deadly Weapon

As if the risk of constricted blood vessels wasn't enough reason to slow your sodium intake, now comes news that eating salty foods may worsen gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In a study of the eating habits of 3,153 people by Sweden's Karolinska Institute Medical University, those who regularly added salt to their food were 70 percent more likely to develop GERD than those who skipped the extra sodium.

The alarming part: If left untreated, GERD can lead to esophageal cancer. Since this is the first study linking salt consumption to the disease, lead researcher Magnus Nilsson, M.D., says further research is needed. In the meantime, trade table salt for coarse kosher salt, which has 20  percent less sodium per teaspoon.

 

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