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Healthy bites - Making healthier food choices

Watch your diet if you want to get healthy and lose weight
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - October 7, 2010
By: Goh Mei Yi
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Healthy bites - Making healthier food choices

Healthy eating is not about staying unrealistically thin, or being deprived of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about having good eating habits and making better choices about food. Despite claims that popular diets advocate, a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins and minerals is needed to sustain a healthy body. Here are some tips to help you eat right:

Wean off the bad stuff gradually. If you’re attempting to give up a certain food, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating it as often. You might then crave it less often and actually succeed in giving it up altogether.

Eat smaller portions. Resist the urge to upsize everything you buy or order just because it’s “value for money”. You’ll only end up eating more than you intended to.  

Choose healthy carbohydrates. Opt for wholegrain products whenever possible. These are digested slowly, helping you feel full longer and keeping blood sugar levels more stable.

Include fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and are nutrient-dense. The Health Promotion Board recommends two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables each day. Fruit and vegetables of different colours (red, green, yellow/orange, white or purple) contain different combinations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so eat a variety.

Substitute “bad” fats with “good” fats. Limit the intake of saturated and trans fats. Switch to healthier monounsaturated fats such as canola oil or olive oil and polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel.

Go for leaner cuts of meat. You don’t have to give up meat completely, but try to eat more white meat such as fish and poultry. Trim off any visible fat from the meat and remove the skin from poultry.

Cut down on sugar. Soft drinks and processed fruit juices can have a high sugar content, so reduce your intake of them or dilute them with water. For dessert, serve frozen yogurt or sorbet instead of ice cream.

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