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Practical advice on how to have a healthy diet

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Star Health Desk
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Consuming a healthy diet throughout the life-course helps prevent malnutrition in all its forms as well as a range of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and conditions. But the increased production of processed food, rapid urbanisation and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in dietary patterns. People are consuming more foods high in energy, saturated fats, trans fats, free sugars or salt/sodium, and many do not eat enough fruit, vegetables and dietary fibre such as whole grains.

Fruit and vegetables

Eating at least 5 portions, or 400g, of fruit and vegetables per day reduces the risk of NCDs, and helps ensure an adequate daily intake of dietary fibre.

In order to improve fruit and vegetable consumption you can:

* always include vegetables in your meals;

* eat fruit and raw vegetables as snacks;

* eat fresh vegetables in season;

* vary choices of fruits and vegetables.

Fats

Reducing the amount of total fat intake to less than 30% of total energy helps prevent unhealthy weight gain in adult population.

Also, the risk of developing NCDs is lowered by reducing saturated fats to less than 10% of total energy, and trans fats to less than 1% of total energy, and replacing them with unsaturated fats contained in vegetable oils.

Fats intake can be reduced by:

* changing how you cook – remove the fatty part of meat; instead of butter, use vegetable oil (not animal); and boil, steam or bake rather than fry;

* avoid processed foods containing trans fats;

* limit the consumption of foods containing high amounts of saturated fats (e.g. cheese, ice creams, fatty meat).

Salt, sodium and potassium

Most people consume too much sodium through salt (corresponding to an average of 9–12 g of salt per day) and not enough potassium. High salt consumption and insufficient potassium intake (less than 3.5 g) contribute to high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

1.7 million deaths could be prevented each year if people’s salt consumption were reduced to the recommended level of less than 5 g per day.

People are often unaware of the amount of salt they consume. In many countries, most salt comes from processed foods (e.g. ready meals, processed meats like bacon, ham and salami, cheese and salty snacks) or from food consumed frequently in large amounts (e.g. bread). Salt is also added to food during cooking (e.g. bouillon, stock cubes) or at the table (e.g. table salt, soy sauce and fish sauce).

You can reduce salt consumption by:

* not adding salt, soy sauce or fish sauce during the preparation of food;

* not having salt on the table;

* limiting the consumption of salty snacks;

* choosing products with lower sodium content.

Potassium, which can mitigate the negative effects of elevated sodium consumption on blood pressure, can be increased with consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Sugars

Evidence indicates that intake of free sugars by adults and children should not exceed 10% of total energy, and that a reduction of under 5% of total energy provides additional health benefits. Free sugars are all sugars added to food or drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.

Consuming free sugars increases the risk of dental caries (tooth decay). Excess calories from foods and drinks high in free sugars also contribute to unhealthy weight gain, which can lead to overweight and obesity.

Sugars intake can be reduced by:

* Limiting the consumption of foods and drinks containing high amounts of sugars (i.e. sugar-sweetened beverages, sugary snacks and candies);

* Eating fruit and raw vegetables as snacks instead of sugary snacks.

Source: www.thedailystar.net

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Healty and tips

3 rules to follow at breakfast to lose weight.

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Eating nothing in the morning is as bad as eating anything. A balanced breakfast that often contradicts the most common habits helps to lose weight and ensure satiety until lunch without problem.

Atlantico: A healthy and balanced breakfast is a first step to regain control of your daily diet and can help us lose weight. What advice would you give that breakfast is a first step in weight loss?

Leaking refined foods with a high glycemic index
Consume breakfasts that are vectors of vitamins, fibers and minerals like the Miam-Ô-Fruit of France Guillain or a house muesli made of barley flakes, pruned almonds, dried apricots, cinnamon, acacia honey , wheat germ and an almond or oat drink. For salty mouths, dare the egg to shell, the slice of poultry or ham (not too often for the ecological impact!), The cheese (for those who tolerate it) with slices of sourdough bread or a full bowl of rice and a rapeseed oil.

Escape the fruit juices especially that of oranges which are real aggressions for the digestive tract, more or less rich in sugar and perfectly indigestible with any type of cereals.
Teas, maté, infusions and coffees of quality are preferable in small volume (200ml max).
Your breakfast should be consumed calmly with chewing applied.
What is the influence of what we eat in the morning on our choices for subsequent meals?

Charles-Antoine Winter: The influence would be rather a consequence … Understand that in the morning, on the blows of 6 to 8h, our body knows its highest concentration of fasting hormone cortisol (in this case, nocturnal fasting ), allowing us to maintain a glucose level (glucose level in our blood) correct without food intake and especially of carbohydrate origin. In other words, your body is on an autonomous metabolism. And this means knowing how to get out of it as wisely as possible.

Here are two possibilities: one where you submerge it of sweetness with an excess of sugar and make it dependent (circuit of the reward). And the other where you empower him with nutrients that require him to work as a team and therefore an autonomy.

Indeed, one of the most harmful and maintained habits in France is the breakfast rich in sugar, in empty calories. Intake of fiber-free sugar at breakfast will inevitably cause hyperglycemia, an excess of sugar circulating in your blood. And your body being in danger, will react to excess by secreting too much insulin, the latter being responsible for the use of sugar by your neurons, muscles, red blood cells (positive point) but also by the conversion of l excess sugar in fat. Worse yet, your sweet breakfast will be responsible, via insulin, morning cravings, your addiction to coffee, your oversized and / or unbalanced lunches. A day that starts and may end on the reward scheme …

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West Africa’s Tea Culture – a Way of Life

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The term “tea ceremony” usually conjures up mental images of formal rituals in old Japan, or more modern ones in India or Malaysia where business deals are struck over a pot of tea and a handshake. In West Africa, ancient tea ceremony goes by the name “attaya,” and is anything but formal. In fact, tea culture in the continent’s western nations of Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal are the polar opposite of Japan’s ceremonies, where matcha tea is the focal point of a semi-religious event.

Tea

The attaya is more accurately described as a tea ritual or social function akin to a very informal wine-tasting session or round of toasts in Western cultures. Something like 80 percent of all West African children and adults drink tea on a daily basis, most of it being some variety of mint tea made in a way that likely originated among the ancient Moors.

French, Arabic, a little English, and local dialects are interwoven in everyday West African speech; and that makes for colorful, loud and friendly conversations during the traditional three rounds of tea in a typical attaya ceremony.

Despite its wide practice throughout West Africa, centering on Senegal, the attaya ceremony is largely unknown in the West. Here are some key facts that explain how the tea is made and served, how people interact while drinking it, and how to make a pot of West African tea that is “attaya-ready.”

Background

The preparation of typical Senegalese mint tea, the kind used in the attaya ritual, takes quite a while, and is not as easy as preparing other kinds of tea. This is partly by design, enabling everyone to have a long conversation while the tea is being heated and mixed. Mint tea is a natural preventive for cavities and several other dental problems.

Ceremony and history

Every African attaya ceremony consists of three rounds. Tea is served in small glasses (not cups) with each round being quite different in taste. Legend has it that the first, bitter round represents the beginning of life and the difficulties of growing up. The second round is sweeter but retains the strong mint flavor. The third and final round is mostly very weak tea with plenty of sugar. The second round is said to signify the sweetness of mid-life, love, and marriage, with the final round being symbolic of old age. There are hundreds of historic stories about what each round means, but they all point to some version of “stages of life.”

Almost all the words related to African tea ceremony, including the word “attaya” itself, are Arabic in origin because the early Moors are thought to have perfected the art of preparing sweet mint tea. The Senegalese language is largely derived from Arabic. The best-known English word that comes directly from Senegalese is also food-and-drink related; “yummy.”

Tea culture in West Africa

Tea is always served to visitors in West African homes, but more commonly it is drunk during social gatherings at restaurants, on street corners, in alleyways, wherever people meet to talk and socialize.

There are dozens of ways to prepare African mint tea for attaya, but the most common one calls for a large pot of boiling water (preferably over a charcoal fire) to which is added green tea leaves, mint leaves and a generous dose of sugar. After a long boiling period, the tea is mixed by pouring it to and from the glasses several times. This distributes the sugar and mint evenly.

Good African mint tea has lots of foam on top. This is a result of the pouring process (see above) but it is usually less thick during the second and third rounds as the concoction weakens.

It is said that in many West African nations potential burglars and thieves will steer clear of homes and businesses if they smell mint tea being brewed in the evening. That’s because night watchmen and late-shift police typically drink strong mint tea to stay awake. The first round alone is enough to keep a person’s eyes wide open for several hours.

Taste and preparation

The taste of the tea depends on the preparer. Talented tea-makers in Senegal and neighboring countries usually do a careful head count before preparation. That way, they can calibrate the amount of sugar, tea leaves and mint to use, as well as how much water to prepare. Considering that each person will be drinking about 20 ounces of tea over a 2-hour period, very large pots are used when there are more than a few guests.

Because the caffeine content is so high, African-style mint tea is never served on an empty stomach, but always after meals. And contrary to almost every other nation’s tea-drinking practices, West African attaya attendees slurp and gulp their tea rather quickly. The socializing takes place between rounds of drinking rather than during. All of which means that a typical attaya 3-round ritual will include no less than 2 or three sessions of chatting that are each about 30 minutes long.

“Free speech” is the only rule

During an attaya session, guests are expected to express their opinion about the tea, saying whether they think it too strong, too weak or just right. Unlike in Western cultures, it is not considered rude to speak one’s mind about the quality of the tea at an attaya. “Wow, that’s way too strong for me,” and “Is this water or tea?” (during the third round) are routine comments from attaya participants, all of which bring either laughter or a reasoned response from the preparer, like “Well, you Brits and Americans are too weak to drink ‘real’ African tea. Hahahaha.”

Many Westerners are taken aback when they realize that West African attaya sessions are truly free-wheeling affairs, where just about any subject is fair game for discussion, and friendly argumentation is even encouraged and appreciated. (Contrast this with Japanese tea ceremony!)

It’s interesting to note the differences between the world’s most ritualized, formal matcha tea ceremonies of Japan and the much looser, socializing tone of West Africa’s attaya. In the former, virtually every word and action is prescribed by tradition. In a typical attaya, a street vendor might prepare the three rounds of mint tea with varying amounts of sugar and much chatter between host and guests.

Regardless of these obvious differences, West African attaya is one of the most colorful and interesting “tea ceremonies” on earth; and everyone should experience the camaraderie and good cheer that accompanies each glass of African mint served during attaya.

Source: matcha-tea.com

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