PHARMACIST : Be healthy, eat what you want

Monday October 10 2016

Fruits are tasty, full of fiber, vitamins and

Fruits are tasty, full of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Add an array of colorful fruits in your diet every day. PHOTO | FILE 

By Dr Sajjad Fazel

Avoid beef, stop eating potatoes, cut down on candy -- these are some of the things people are often told in order to have a balanced diet.

It is very wrong to take ‘eating healthy’ as a strict limitation to certain kinds of food. Eating healthy is not about depriving yourself of the foods you love. Instead, it’s about feeling great, having a burst of energy and being in great shape.

Here are the tips to go with:


Start Slow – Take it as small gradual changes instead of a drastic change.

Simplify – Don’t think of how many calories each food has, instead make healthy choices with the food you like. Add some proteins and vegetables to your favorite meals.

Water – Drinking lots of water helps flush toxins and waste products. Often people confuse thirst for hunger. A general rule would be to drink enough water so your urine is colorless.

Exercise – Is key to eating healthy. It will not only motivate you by releasing endorphins but also help you in making better food choices for being in great shape.


Off Limits – Unless you’re a diabetic and are absolutely not supposed to have sugar. Generally, having foods that are off limits just makes you crave for them more. It’s good to have occasional indulgences, say, eating junk food once a month.

Eating Portions – Do not eat large portions and stuff yourself down with food. Learn to eat small servings of food packed with necessary fibres, proteins and vegetables. Eat slowly and stop when you’re full.

Eating Time – A healthy breakfast of eggs, cereal or fruit juice is a great way to kickstart your metabolism and give you a boost of energy. Eating an early dinner could help regulate weight.

Fruits & Vegetables

Colorful Fruits – Fruits are tasty, full of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Add an array of colorful fruits in your diet every day.

Greens – Don’t stick to the normal greens; lettuce and spinach. Try different greens such as; Kale, Broccoli, etc. They are all packed with Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Pottasium and Vitamins.

Fats, Fibres & Grains

Good Fat/Bad Fat – Good sources of fat are necessary to nourish the brain, heart, skin, nails, etc. Foods rich in Omega-3 fats are known to have reduce symptoms in people with depression. Add foods rich in Omega-3 fats such as cold water fish, salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc. Avoid trans-fat found in margarines, Candies, Cookies, Fried foods, etc.

Grains – Eat grains for carbohydrates and fiber. Whole grains such as millet, brown rice and whole wheat fill you up faster and give long lasting energy.

Fibers – Eating food high on fibers decreases your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Fiber can help you lose weight as it not only makes you feel full but also helps move fat through your digestive tract faster. Hence, reducing its absorption. Tip 5: Proteins & Calcium Proteins – Proteins are very important for your diet. They help to maintain the skin, organs, muscle and immune function. They also help in growth and energy. The key is to eat different types of proteins. Replace red meat with fish, chicken and plant-based proteins such as; beans, nuts and soy. Snack on nuts and seeds instead of chips. Substitute slices of pizza for grilled chicken breast with spinach and beans.

Calcium – It is a key nutrient for the body to remain strong and healthy. Recommended calcium levels are 1000mg per day. This will help reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases. Foods rich in calcium are - Dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, Leafy green vegetables such as turnip greens, cabbage, asparagus , broccoli, lettuce, Beans such as; Kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas.