Are you among those that prefers to buy fruits and vegetables a week in advance? Keeping them in your fridge may mean robbing them of essential nutrients, which are so vital for your body. Instead of stocking up for a week or two, make it a habit to buy fresh vegetables every few days.
Try to go a little easy with processed foods. Processed items generally tend to contain more sodium and saturated fat, and lesser amounts of fibre and essential nutrients. Try to opt for fresh, wholesome foods. If you absolutely must go for processed foods, choose those that contain whole grains (whole-wheat bread, tortillas and pasta), have no trans fat and are low in saturated fat.
Enjoy eating out? Keep it to a minimum. Experts say that the amount of outside food you eat can have a detrimental effect on your health. Home-cooked meals are not only made in a cleaner environment, they also tend to be more nutritious. The number of people eating out has steadily increased over the past few years owing to the sheer number of restaurants that have mushroomed up all over the city. However, if you must eat out, stick to a routine – eat one or meals outside in a week. Try and stick to ghar ka khaana the rest of the time.
If you’re trying to lose weight, having long gaps in-between meals will make it all the more harder to shed those pounds. Plan your meals, so that you never suffer from hunger pangs.
Cooking at home may seem overwhelming in the beginning. Take help and advise when needed and don’t shy away from experimenting. If the dishes don’t turn out the way you imagined them to, don’t lose heart. Always keep a well stocked refrigerator and a pantry. Buy some multi-purpose utensils and browse through recipe books. Start with simple soup, pasta, salad and sandwich recipes and gradually move on to more complex dishes.
Peeling certain vegetables and fruits robs them of their nutrients. Apples and tomatoes should be eaten the way they are. Apple peels contain phytochemicals that are responsible for most of the apples’ healthy antioxidant activity. It is also wise to leave a gap of 15-20 minutes after you chop garlic before adding it to your cooking since this ensures that the enzymatic reaction that begins when garlic is diced, expels as much of the antioxidant allyl sulfur as possible thus increasing cancer-fighting benefits.
Avocado, canola or olive oil with your salad is actually healthy for you. In moderation, experts say, these actually help your body absorb healthy phytochemicals from tomatoes and dark green vegetables.
Don’t abstain completely from avocados, nuts and olives. While they may be high in fat and calories, they’re low in saturated fat. These items contribute smart fats to your diet, and are laden with fibre and phytochemicals. Eat them in moderation.