Healthy You

5 Healthy habits to kick start the New Year (it’s not too late)

Want to make this year a fit and healthy one? It’s not too late to start. With all your resolutions still fresh in mind, here are a few good habits that you should incorporate into your life. These will ensure a healthy you and help achieve your fitness goals. So, keep the following in mind and start practising…

-Nutritionist and Dietician Golla Sailaja

Keep clean

Improper processing, handling and cooking of food can make it unsafe. For this very reason, those preparing food should wash their hands thoroughly before doing so. They should also be free from any illness, wounds and sores. To avoid contamination, it is best to use spoons and ladles. Other important things to keep in mind are washing the raw fruits and vegetables before consumption and ensuring clean storage. So, pay attention to your kitchen and the food that you eat.

Consume fresh vegetables to remain healthy.

Food label reading

Food labels play a very important role in achieving your diet goals. They not only tell you how much of what is present in that particular food, but also how much of a particular nutrient is actually required, thereby enabling even a layman to make a healthier choice. There are times when a product claiming to have lots of fibre may actually have more calories coming from fat or a product claiming to be healthier may have more calories per serving. Hence, it is important to check the nutritive values before spending money. Make sure you start reading the food labels this year to be healthier as well as make the most of the money spent.

Eat the rainbow

Making the food colourful does not mean adding artificial food colours but ensuring that you use foods of the five hues: red, orange or yellow, green, blue or purple and white. The pigments in the food are due to the phytochemicals which are of great use as they have antioxidant properties. Ensuring colours on the plate entails incorporating fruits and vegetables, which in turn ensures fibre and essential nutrients, resulting in a healthier you.

Delight in a range of colourful fruits. 

Keep a check on oil

The easiest way to make sure that you are not consuming a lot of fat is by buying only the recommended amount of oil. The recommended dietary allowance for an individual is – 1-person x ½ litre x 1 month

Calculate the number of people at your home with half and then check how much you actually use. All the types of fats like butter, margarine, ghee and oil, etc should come under that ½ litre per month allowance. Try reducing oil to the ideal amount gradually but start now.

Maintain energy balance

It means maintaining a balance between the amounts of energy consumed to the amount of energy spent. Reading the food labels would help in getting an idea of the calories consumed. So even if you are not referring to a dietitian, you can make your own timetable and check as to how much physical activity you actually do. This exercise will make you more conscious and will help you make better food choices and also encourage you to be more physically active.

So, this new year, add these 5 healthy habits too to your list of resolutions and have a happy year ahead.

Golla Sailaja is a Research Assistant at School of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona. She is qualified with M.Sc in Dietetics and Applied Nutrition.

1 comment on “5 Healthy habits to kick start the New Year (it’s not too late)

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