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Nutrition hacks

Nutrition hacks

Experts laud the benefits of a ‘balanced diet’—one which contains all the essential nutrients in just the right amount. A balanced diet supplies the nutrients your body needs to work effectively. Without balanced nutrition, you could be more prone to disease, infection, and fatigue among other health issues.

You need carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals, and fiber and putting it all together in the required quantities can be a daunting task. That is often why so many of us just give up altogether. But eating clean and getting the nutrients you need doesn’t have to be so complicated. There are some basic things that you can follow to make sure you are getting most of the nutrients you need on a daily basis.

Have a handful of nuts and seeds

Nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, and others are packed with protein, fats, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Nuts and seeds regulate body weight as their fats are not fully absorbed. They will thus keep you fuller for longer and help you regulate food intake. Nuts and seeds also contain unsaturated fats and other nutrients that provide protective effects against heart disease and diabetes. Studies have even found that people who eat nuts frequently are at a lower risk of gaining weight than those who seldom eat nuts. Nuts also help in regulating cholesterol. Scientists have also found a direct relation between eating nuts at least a few times per week and the reduction of LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body.

Stick to the one fruit a day rule

Have one whole fruit a day. Eat the entire fruit and don’t juice it as that removes the fiber content. According to Ayurveda, the best time to have a fruit is before two in the afternoon. 

Fruits are nutritious, they make a tasty snack or dessert, and they can satisfy a sweet tooth. Choose local fruits that are in season as they are fresher and provide more nutrients than imported fruits. Fruits are high in sugar, but it’s natural sugar. They will boost the body’s supply of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, if you have diabetes, consult a dietician on which fruits you can eat and how and when to eat them.

Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

Try to eat less saturated fat and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish, and avocados. When having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off fat that is visible. Cut down on sugar consumption as well. The problem with too much sugar is that your diet will be high in calories and this can lead to putting on weight. Excess weight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory diseases. Read the label of the products you buy and try to avoid those that have added sugar in them. If there’s more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g, then that item is high in sugar, while five gram of total sugars or less per 100g means the food is low in sugar. To be on the safer side, experts tend to suggest giving up biscuits, jams, chocolates, and fizzy drinks.

Stock up your fridge and pantry

Having a well-stocked fridge and pantry can make your eating habits better. Keep jars of nuts where you can see them. Put fruits in a bowl on the dining table. If you have chips and chocolates at home, stow them away from sight. Make healthy snacks like makhana, popcorn, and sprouts at home to munch on when you are feeling hungry and there’s still a couple of hours to go for dinner. Cut and chop vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and beetroot and keep them in the fridge. You can have them with freshly made hummus or just plain salt and pepper. It will up your fiber intake as well as keep you satiated for a long time. The idea here is to have ready-to-eat healthy things on hand so that you don’t reach for the unhealthy stuff.