In world most of the deaths occur due to heart diseases and major causes of these diseases are imbalance diet and bad life styles. Now it is proved scientifically that a balance diet can save humans lives but can even control the consequences of heart diseases. High level of cholesterol is the major cause of heart diseases. Due to which the vessels of heart starts narrowing, thus preventing flow of blood from heart to the body. The major cause of heart, diabetes disease and high blood pressure are obesity, high level of cholesterol, deficiency of fiber & vitamins nutrition, stress, lack of physical exercise and unhealthy life style.
To avoid these diseases a balanced diet is necessary. To live a healthy and safe life follow the points listed below:
- Use low fat nutrition:
High amount of fats is present in cooking oil, meat, yogurt, cream, butter and cheese etc. A sufficient amount of fats is required by the body but excess of these fats is dangerous to health. For example if our body requires 2000 calories daily then about 30% (600) calories should be obtained through fats. In other words if you obtain all the required daily (2000) calories through meat then it is harmful for health. Like if you eat fattier foods like meat then your required calories are obtained by the fast digestive foods and the fatty foods which are digested lately will become the cause of obesity.
- If you have to eat meat then avoid beef as it contains more fats and cholesterol. If you ever eat beef or Kabab then bring “Lean Cut” meat which is not reddish in color. When you take beef meal then in the next two meals just go for vegetables & fruits and totally avoid oily foods and sugar. Do some exercise to digest it.
- Mutton can be taken as meat but it should be cooked in combination with vegetables and can be served for up to 3 days a week.
- Chicken without skin should be cooked in a moderate amount of oil. Roasted chicken which contains a lot of oil should be avoided completely. Especially in parties just a couple of chicken pieces would be enough for healthy meal, you can use vegetables or Olivier salad (Rashian Salad) if available.
- Fish also without skin should be cooked. Avoid frying fish as it gets too much oily. So Bake, Bar-B-Q or make Curry. Fish can also be served maximum thrice a week.
- Egg yolk contains a lot of cholesterol. However the white part of the egg is not harmful.
- Utilize more vegetables:
Eat more vegetables, these have much fibers and vitamins and are free from cholesterol. These also contain less calories as compared to other foods, so these help in controlling obesity as well. So your cholesterol level will be controlled and ultimately blood pressure will be normal. Green leafy vegetables are best. Potato and Alvi are not considered as vegetables.
Salad is a good nutrient, so try to eat more salad so that you should have adequate intake of it for your good health. Salad can also be enriched with a small amount of Olive oil. Use of lemon or vinegar is good with salad.
Fruit is a good nutrient. Use fruit daily between meals. Fruits contain a lot of vitamins and fibers, fibers help stomach in digesting food. Vegetables loose some vitamins while cooking them but all the vitamins in fruits are utilized by our body. Seasonal fruits have more vitamins. That’s why enjoy fruits in their seasons. Never eat “fruit trifle” because that contains cream which is not suitable for good health. Citrus fruits are enriched with vitamin C, so eat more citrus fruits because they help avoid heart disease. Those fruits which are easy to eat with their shells, because fruit shells contain vitamins and fibers. All the fibers are lost in fruit juices, so it’s better to eat fruit instead of taking juice, but blended juices and shakes of fruits are almost same as eating fruits. Lemons are also enriched in vitamin C, so use these frequently as salad, with meals and in liquids.
Milk, yogurt, butter, cheese and cream and margarine contain more fats. Butter and cream contain saturated fats so these should be avoided specially. Milk is beneficial for health. It contains calcium which is essential for human bones. Use milk without cream, similarly try to use yogurt without cream. If you prefer using powdered or UHT milk then it should be skimmed milk i.e. low fat milk. Soya milk can also be used. Using lassi after extracting butter from it very effective for a good health.
As flour is the major part of our daily nutrition. The use of flour made food like chapati, bread, vermicelli etc. are the major source of our nutrition. But brown flour is better for health as compared to white flour (fine flour). Do not separate the bran (miller’s bran) from the flour instead use flour as is, because bran contains fibers and vitamins which are very essential for our health. Similarly, use whole grain bread. Eat simple chapattis and avoid parathas because these contain oil and especially when that oil burns it changes into “Trans fatty Acid” which is harmful.
Rice and foods made from rice are also an essential part of our nutrition, so our regular nutrition should contain these as part of our food. Similarly like flour brown rice are good than while rice. Instead of using oily and fried rice, use of boiled or very low oiled rice is effective for good health.
Macaroni & Noodles:
Pasta, macaroni & noodles are made from flour and rice. These do not have fats. However, while cooking them do not use banaspati ghee or butter, use a good quality oil in sufficient amount. These are the alternatives of rice and flour.
Potatoes are not included in vegetables. These are enriched with proteins and fibers. Eating boiled or baked potatoes is not dangerous to health, however french-fries can be much harmful for health. Especially salty potatoes chips must be avoided. If you ever want to consume french-fries than make sure they are made in a high quality oil and are of thick size which don’t absorb much oil. The best use of potatoes is to cook them in curry and in rice.
Pulses are the important part of our nutrition, we get proteins from these. It’s better to cook pulses with their shell. Use low oil while cooking pulses. Make a weekly menu to included pulses in your nutrition and keep on taking different types of pulses throughout the week.
Cooking oil mostly used in cooking so must use the one which don’t contains Saturated Fats. In oils Olive oil, Canola oil, Sunflower oil, Cottonseed oil, Soybean oil and Corn oil are not harmful. On the other hand, Coconut oil & Palm oil are not suitable for health. Heating oil again and again converts into to Trans Fatty Acids, so avoid using same oil more than a couple of times (e.g. using the same oil repeatedly for making french-fries, pakoras, samosas etc.).
Biscuits, Cakes, Pastries, Samosas, Pakoras and Sweets should be taken very rarely. Once because these contains much amount of sugar & oil. Secondly oil used is of low quality which kept on heating again and again got converted into Trans Fatty Acids.
Honey & Dates:
Salt & Spices:
Salt should be used very lightly. As it increases blood pressure and sodium which is essential part of the salt is harmful. Baking powder also contains sodium so it should also be used moderately. Use salt to taste and make the habit of using less salt in daily use. Spices are not harmful but spicy foods increase hunger which means you have to eat more which is not good for health.
As dry fruits contain different types of oil that’s why heart patient generally avoid taking dry fruits. It’s true that they have fats but as mostly dry fruits have unsaturated fats so taking a sufficient amount of them is not harmful to health. Dry fruits are important as these meets our body’s minerals needs. A handful of these can be taken between the meals. Cashew nuts should be taken in a small amount as they contain more saturated fats. Walnuts contain more calories so should be taken accordingly. However, research shows that walnuts control the harmful cholesterol. So one walnut a day is beneficial for heart. Avoid salty ground nuts and fried pulses because they contain more salt. Sufficient amount of almonds is good for health.
Soy foods are used frequently in some countries. Especially vegetarians use soy foods more and these are the best alternative to meat. Soy foods have anti-oxidants which increase the level of beneficial cholesterol. Soy food is considered a complete source of proteins as it contains all the essential amino acids. Nevertheless it is not recommended to go overboard in soy. Consuming a couple of servings per week is recommended.
Ice creams should be taken in a limited amount. If ever going to take ice cream then prefer a low fat one.
Safe drinking water is vital to our body although it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Water acts like a carrier which distributes essential nutrients to the cells i.e. vitamins, minerals and glucose. Our body is composed of 65% water. So we should drink plenty of water. The recommended daily intake of water is 12-18 glasses which may be varied a bit depending on the climate.
While eating a balanced diet be aware that you don’t take a total high calories diet. Otherwise excessive intake of regular high calories diet will lead to obesity.