Instead, replace unhealthy and fattening foods with healthier alternatives — eat the same amount of food as before but eat lower-calorie foods with a healthier balance of nutrients. Try baked potato, carrots, an apple, or another healthier and lower-calorie food. Again, you are eating fewer calories, but you are also filling your stomach and adding variety to your diet.
CONTROL YOUR WEIGHT
Maintaining a healthy weight is important to reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Achieving an ideal weight need not be the first goal, though, substantial benefits can come from stopping weight gain than beginning to achieve a modest amount of weight loss.
Limiting saturated fat may be important to reduce the risk for cancer and heart disease. Choose lean meats and low fat dairy products and substitute with vegetable oils (canola or olive oil) instead of butter or ghee.
VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
Greater consumption of vegetables and fruits has been shown to lower the risk of several cancers, including cancers of the stomach, lung, mouth, esophagus and colon. Vegetables and fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants which together account for their beneficial effect. Eat vegetables and fruits with the most colour as the colour indicates that they have phytonutrients or cancer fighting qualities.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A SERVING SIZE?
A fruit and vegetable serving may be smaller than you think. Any one of these could qualify as one serving size.
- Medium-size piece of fruit
- ¾ (6 oz) of 100 percent fruit/vegetable juice
- ½ cup cooked vegetables or fruit
- One cup of raw, leafy vegetables
- ½ cup of cooked dry peas or beans
- ¼ cup dried fruit
The fruits and vegetables have been grouped based according to the major colour of each phytonutrient group.
Have at least one serving (half a fist cooked or one fist raw) or more a day of each of the following ‘colours’ as part of your five plus fruit and vegetable servings.
FOOD CATEGORY EXAMPLES
Green or white (crucifers help to detoxify the body and protect against certain cancers) Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, mustard greens, spinach, green pepper, asparagus, lettuce, bok choy, collard greens, brussel sprouts, parsley
Yellow to deep orange(carotenoids are a huge family of over 600 colors) Apricots, pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, peaches, yam, beets
Red (lycopene is a carotenoid which has a lot of recent press as a cancer- fighter) Tomato, watermelon, grapefruit, guava
Dark green (these provide a host of cancer preventive nutrients such as Vitamin A calcium, magnesium, folic acid, potassium and carotenoids along with lots of fiber) Greens, spinach, endive, kale, chard, sprouts, dark lettuces
Dark red to deep blue (berries contain anthocyanins or ‘colors’ called flavonoids that seem to block tumor growth) Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
Orange to orange-red (citrus and other orange fruits have a triple benefit of carotenoids, flavnoids and Vitamin C)
Oranges, papaya, lemons, peach, apricot, cantaloupe, tangerines, nectarines, muskmelons
Light green to white (members of the allium family promote detoxification and stop the growth of tumors) Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, shallots
Include one or two servings (half a fist cooked or one fist raw) of these “colours” weekly in your meal plan.
Tan to brown (mushrooms contain beta- glucans like lentinan, PSP and PSK that have immune stimulating properties) Button mushrooms, shiitake, reishi, maitake
Purple to red (grapes have reservatrol an antioxidant substance that can also stop cancer progression and protect your heart. Red or purple grapes, red vine (in moderation), grape juice
OIL- FREE COOKING TIPS
Always steam your vegetables first, before cooking them or adding them into gravies.
Cook on a low to medium flame, never on a high flame.
Heat the utensil first, and then add the spices one at a time. Once a spice releases its aroma, add the next, and soon. Don’t allow the spices to burn. They should be roasted lightly and cooked just right. This art requires a little practice. Once you get the hang of this technique, cooking without oil becomes very easy.
When cooking onions or garlic, you could steam them first, or cook them on a low flame to sautee or brown them. Add salt to the onion or garlic to cook (brown) faster.
Dals, lentils and pulses can be easily cooked in the pressure cooker. Then you can add steamed vegetables/ spices, onion, garlic (without oil) for flavour.
Add low-fat milk to gravies, soups, curries or baked dishes.
Use low-fat curds for gravies.
Seeds, nuts and coconut milk can be used sparingly to enhance food flavour.
Baked dishes can also be made by steaming the vegetables and then adding milk, salt, pepper and other spices in a baking dish and putting it in the oven until ready to serve.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS ON EATING THE RIGHT WAY!
EAT ENJOYABLE AND NUTRITIOUS FOODS
Eat three or more pieces of fresh fruit and salad each day, varying their colour. Choose whole, organic items rather than refined, processed foods that are full of additives. To preserve nutrients, eat freshly cooked food, rather than frozen, or packaged foods.
AVOID LARGE MEALS
It is better to eat several small meals a day, rather than a large lunch and dinner, which are hard to digest and also can make you feel sleepy. Instead, consume five to six small meals a day, of healthy foods. This way, every time the food is eaten, the body burns calories while breaking it down, eventually helping to raise the metabolism.
DON’T ELIMINATE, MODERATE
Drastic changes are hard to maintain. Enjoy favourite foods in small amounts, occasionally. “No human being should have to live without those sweet, freshly baked goodies, forever”. If you’re craving them, eat just enough to satisfy your taste buds, and freeze or lock away the rest.
SIT DOWN AND EAT SLOWLY
If you are trying to watch your weight, train yourself to eat in one place, preferably at a table. It’s easy to overeat when meals are grabbed on the run or while standing in front of the refrigerator. Eat slowly to give your body time to release the enzymes that tell your brain you’ve had enough. Also the slower you eat, the sooner you’ll feel full.
LEARN TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN HUNGER AND CRAVING
If you’re not sure whether or not you’re actually hungry, drink a glass of fresh fruit juice or water, and then decide. Don’t just eat to pacify a short-term emotional need. Ask yourself, “am I really hungry?”
WATCH YOUR TIMING, IF YOU EAT TOO MUCH AFTER 8 P.M., YOU’LL GAIN WEIGHT
At the end of the day, when the body is tired and has little energy, most of us gear up again for social and business dinners. The later you eat, the harder it gets to digest the food. If you have to eat dinner later, eat a small snack before 8 p.m., so that you won’t be very hungry during dinner time.
SUBSTITUTE FRIED AND FATTY FOODS WITH GREAT-TASTING NON-FRIED OPTIONS
Try exotic flavours. Buy fresh herbs, mustard, sun- dried tomatoes and whatever else that adds a special flavour to the food. Instead of frying; you can grill, roast, bake, stir-fry or blanch the food. Limit fat intake to 20 percent of total calories. You need to control the calories, fat, portion size, and yet, make food that is tasty.
DON’T OVEREAT IF YOU ARE STRESSED OUT
Many of us look for an antidote to our emotional pain. It could be alcohol, drugs or food. Too much of it leads to weight gain, which in turn leads to more stress. Avoid mindless eating and modify your habits to control stress. Take up healthy habits to de-stress, such as an outdoor activity, breathing and relaxation techniques.
KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED
Eat high water content foods, such as watermelon, oranges, pineapples, tomatoes and cucumber. Drink plenty of water, fruit and vegetable juices and coconut water.
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