Healthy food? Nobody has time for that!
Eating healthy has always been a challenge for most Malaysians. With the abundance of food rich with flavours available all around us, it is hard to restrain yourself from taking a bite from that forbidden apple. Therefore, many Malaysians (well, the Muslims) take the opportunity to detoxify and clean their bodies during Ramadan. Since they are fasting anyway, it might be easier for them to choose one wholesome meal that is clean and of course healthy to cut down several kilos before Raya arrives. So, let us see the 5 top healthy eating tips that can help you lose that extra flab and look fab on Raya.
Health Tip #1 – Eat Low Glycemic Food
High-glycemic food have high amounts of blood and cause an increase of insulin in the body. This type of food is not good for the body because in excessive amounts, it can cause lung cancer and other subset of cancers, including breast, prostrate, and colon, which are highly responsive to insulin. Therefore, during the fasting month, it is advisable for you to control your diet in order to balance out the insulin and sugar levels in the body. What food are known as low glycemic food? Eat more sweet potatoes, leafy greens, steel-cut oatmeal, skim milk and legumes like lentils.
Health Tip #2 – Carbohydrate Replacements
The most important thing about dieting is cutting down the carbohydrate intake. As Malaysians, 80% of food that we consume consist of carbohydrates. Furthermore, as Malaysians, we are taught to eat carbohydrates to give the energy needed for us to carry out our daily activities. Especially now, during the fasting month, how can we sustain the whole day without eating even a mouthful of rice in order to maintain our active lifestyle? The answer is simple; find a replacement! Most of us are not aware that low glycemic food products such as quinoa and cauliflower are a good replacement of carbohydrates. You may be amazed at how much energy is packed in a small portion of cauliflower. Try and see if there is any difference in taste.
Health Tip #3 – Drink A Lot of Liquids
The key to staying fresh during the fasting month is drinking lots and lots of fluids during sahur and iftaar. Our body needs water to stay fresh and energetic as much as we need food. Think of our body like a plant. If you leave a plant too long without water, it will of course, wilt. If you want more nutrients and an extra vitamin boost, make a 100% fruit juice/ smoothie to give you the vitamins A and C needed.
Health Tip #4 – Eat A Lot of Lean Protein
Besides cutting down on carbohydrates, the amount and type of meat you choose to eat can also make a big difference to your body. Make sure you choose the cuts with the lowest amount of fat to eat. Sure the fats make the meat all juicy and more delicious but if you want to fit in that baju Raya of yours and wow everyone with your transformation during Raya, a little sacrifice will not hurt you. Plus, the more you cut, the more rendang you can eat during Raya. By the by, lean meats taste the same as the fatty cuts. It’s the healthier choice!
Health Tip #5 – Cut Down Sugar, Salt and Fat
If you have been good in following through your diet by cutting down your fatty meats and carbohydrate portions, go all the way and reduce your sugar, salt and fat intake too! What is the use if you have been eating healthy and later binge on a packet of chips, chocolates and butter biscuits for dessert? You can have some once in a while but if you want to lose more kilos, you have to reduce the delicious food intake too. No pain, no gain, am I right?
So, there you go, a simple 5-tip list for you to practice eating healthily and finally get that dream body you have been wanting for years. True Ramadan is the month of spiritual and religious cleansing but it does not hurt to take this time as a chance to look fantastic physically too. Do tell us if you have any other healthy eating regime that works.
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