Did you know unhealthy diet, combined with sedentary lifestyles, are the no.1 risk factor for disability and death from non-communicable diseases?
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) celebrates World Food Day every year on 16th October. The theme for 2019 is Zero Hunger. It goes beyond just simple hunger. It means enough nutritious food for everyone, everywhere.
Many Asian nations experience a dual burden of undernutrition and overnutrition simultaneously due to greater and easier availability of processed foods which are calorie dense and not nutrient-dense.
(source: Canada food guide 2019)
Here are the 6 simple steps for having a nutrient-dense healthy lifestyle
1. Eat a balanced diet
Incorporating your diet foods from all foods groups. The different food groups are:
- Rice and alternatives
- Meat and alternatives
2. Choose a variety of food fro each food group
Eating a variety of food from each food groups ensures you are nourished with a variety of nutrients. For e.g you can choose to eat a different fruit every day or choose different cereals such as brown rice, red rice, soba noodles, high fibre noodles, buckwheat noodles, high fibre bread or gluten-free pasta etc.
3. Portion size
Eat the right portion according to My Healthy Plate
. If you are eating out, do not hesitate to request for more vegetables along with your main meal. If the portion served is large, request for reducing it to half portion if possible or choose to pack the excess and store it safely for the next meal. Alternatively, you can share the meal with a friend.
4. Local and seasonal foods
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are fresh and more nutritious. Easting local grown seasonal foods ensure you eat different fruits and vegetables throughout the year.
5. Choose whole foods
Whole grains, plain nuts, legumes, sprouts, fresh fruits and vegetable are more nutrient-dense compared to refined cereals, sweetened nuts, processed fruits etc which are more calorie-dense. Whole foods provide higher satiety, variety of vitamins and minerals compared to processed foods.
Regular physical and activity complements a healthy nutritious diet keeping you energized throughout the day and preventing the onset of non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases and cancer.