HOW TO STAY YOUNG – 10 WAYS TO EAT HEALTHILY
I’ve been obsessed with the recent BBC1 programme How to Stay Young presented by Angela Rippon. The gist of the programme is that if you lose weight, all the health markers in your body are dramatically improved, resulting in a younger "body age" verses your "biological age".
She recommended a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week and leading a "healthy lifestyle". As you are a member of The Lab, we hope that these exercise minutes are already being met, but how about the rest of your lifestyle?
ANTI-AGEING: LONGEVITY MEAL
Researchers from the Netherlands and Melbourne’s Monash University have devised a meal called the “polymeal”, which contains foods that should be eaten daily to help cut cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke and blood vessel disease) by 76%. Wine and chocolate? Sounds good to me!
- 400g of fruit and vegetables 150ml of wine
- 100g of dark chocolate 2.7g (a clove or two) of garlic
- 68g of almonds
- 114g of fish (4 times a week)
1.EAT A RAINBOW A DAY
Eat more fruit and vegetables with as much variety a day as you can. Or practise the “50% rule” – aim to have half of your lunch or dinner plate covered in veggies.
Not only will this help you get your nutrition fix, but you’ll also likely shed some weight. Bear in mind, “each bite of vegetable has 3 to 4 times fewer calories than any other bite of food on your plate”.
2. LIMIT LIQUID CALORIES
Fizzy drinks are essentially sugar water, which packs a caloric punch. Diet cola, though clocking zero calories, also tallies zero nutritional value. And smoothies and fruit juice although healthier than fizzy drinks, packs about the same number of calories. (If you’re craving fruit, go with whole fruit instead, which has fibre to keep you full.)
The healthiest choice? Drink water. Eight glasses are recommended per day, but if you hate drinking plain water, pick up flavoured water or flavoured seltzer. Unsweetened tea and coffee are good runners-up
Think blueberries, broccoli, salmon, walnuts, and even dark chocolate. But when you pair certain components together, the benefits are enhanced even further.
4. GO NATURAL
Choose natural foods instead of processed foods. Without additives, non or minimally processed foods — lean meats, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables — mean you won’t ingest excessive amounts of manmade chemicals. (Just read the ingredient list on a package of Snickers and see if you can pronounce all those words.)
5. EAT MORE FIBRE
Not only can fibre keep you full, it can also help you lose weight as well as lower your risk for cancer.
An easy way to fit more fibre into your diet is to swap white bread for whole grains. When reading the ingredient list on, say, bread, make sure the first ingredient reads "whole" grain. Whole grains have three parts — bran, germ and endosperm — which work together to prevent disease and may also help keep you at a healthy weight.
6. SNACK SMART
Snacking is a good way to tide oneself over till the next meal, but making healthy decisions when you’re delusional with hunger isn’t something to bet on. Prepare yourself with smart, portable choices: a whole fruit, a granola bar, or small yogurt are all great picks for their antioxidants, fibre and calcium content, respectively.
But if you’re in the mood for a slightly more indulgent snack — say, a wedge of gouda or a handful of almonds — be mindful of your intake. High-fat dairy foods such as cheese are high in calories and artery-clogging saturated fat, so keep portions to less than one ounce per day. As for nuts, keep it to just one ounce per day because they can be high in calories.
A guideline: one ounce of nuts is 24 almonds; 18 cashews; 14 walnut halves; 20 pecan halves or 49 pistachios
7. FAT IS BACK
Well, at least one kind is: monounsaturated fat, which is found in olive oil, walnuts, and avocados, among other foods. Unlike saturated fat, which clogs arteries, monounsaturated actually helps you metabolise fat and lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), while possibly raising HDL cholesterol (the good kind).
Choose healthy fats such as olive or canola oil however make sure to measure oil when cooking since just 1 tablespoon has 120 calories.
8. CURB YOUR SWEET TOOTH
Sweets, biscuits and cakes! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that excessive sugar consumption can mean buying a larger dress size. But sugar — the simplest form of carbohydrate, found as lactose (milk sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), and sucrose (table sugar) — is also part of an addictive cycle, and consumption causes peaks and valleys in your blood sugar level and leaves you craving more. Research even shows that a lifetime of overindulging in the sweet stuff can lead to dull, wrinkled skin.
9. EAT BY THE CLOCK
Rather than having three large meals a day and feeling hungry in between, eat smaller portions every five hours to curb hunger and stabilise sugar levels, not to mention ingesting less. Research has shown that people who eat on schedule tend to eat about 80 calories less per day than those people who eat at erratic times and skip meals!
10. SIZE MATTERS
When it comes to food, size matters. Some general guidelines for what one “portion size” is:
STARCH (LIKE NOODLES, POTATOES, RICE, AND CEREAL): the size of a fist
PROTEIN (LIKE MEAT OR TOFU): the size of two palms
FRUIT: the size of a tennis ball
VEGETABLE: the size of a fist
Use these as guide to be aware of how much you’re eating and it can be as simple as stopping when you’re full. You don’t necessarily need to finish the plate. Think before you eat!