Thursday, September 29, 2016

Eating Better doesn't mean opting blindly for a crash diet

By balanced healthy diet we mean a diet that gives our body the nutrition it needs to work optimally. Our daily calorie intake should be based on age, gender, and the level of physical activity. As the common sense goes, men would generally need more calories than women, and active people need more than sedentary people. Interestingly, the source of our daily calories is equally important as the number of calories we consume. Consumption of empty-calories (those that provide little or no nutritional value) should be strictly restricted in a healthy balanced diet. A healthy balanced diet is important because our body’s organs, tissues and cells need proper nutrition to function efficaciously. In the absence of a balanced diet, our body is more susceptible to disease, infection, weakness, sub-optimal functioning, growth problems and developmental delays in children! Rising trend of chronic diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart problems, cancer etc is the result of lack of affinity for balanced diet. Our balanced diet must incorporate- fresh seasonal fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, adequate proteins, low fat dairy products and polyunsaturated oils. A combination of fruits and vegetables usually provides most nutrients and vitamins required for our body's metabolism. Whole grains contain much more nutrients than our foolishly preferred refined grains. Low fat meats, especially when the skin is peeled off save us from excess cholesterol intake along with protein. Proteins help us to develop our muscles. Protein includes not only meats but many vegetarian options like- peas, beans, lentils, walnut, soy products etc. Fat-free dairy products are quite healthy and good source for calcium and vitamin D which are essential for our bone health. We have to be very careful that our diet must not contain unnecessary fats and sugars. Health is wealth and a healthy balanced diet is the stepping stone to good health.

Crash diet is basically a very limiting diet plan (abruptly restricting your dietary calories sometimes as low as 700 calories per day!) that is impractical for the long term and maintenance of our normal body. If we cut off our intake so abruptly, our poor body starves and metabolism suffers! When we opt for crash diet, unknowingly we end up burning our muscles along with fat. When we are on crash diet, we get easily irritable and inconsistent in our behaviour by seeing people around us enjoying delicious meals. Unfortunately, on prolonged crash diet, our adrenaline and thyroid hormone levels fall which makes us inefficient to react in emergency or quick situations. Our cognitive function falls short due to the lack of some or the other amino-acid or, various micro-nutrients. So, clearly crash diet does more harm than good. Once you shift back to your old diet plan, you may gain quick and extra weight and worst part is- you would gain more fat than muscles! Eat healthy balanced diet and think better. Thinking better means not falling for easy but cheap ways of weight loss as in crash diet, because it is easy to put up with plump look but not with harmful long term consequences of crash diet.

I am joining the Saffolalife #ChhoteKadam initiative in association withBlogAdda and follow these small steps for a healthy heart.