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Foods to Eat and Avoid if you’re trying to Eat Healthy?

vegetables-sri-lanka

In Back to Nature program, we encourage healthy food consumption. Instead of eating Pizzas, Kotthu rotis and Processed foods, You should eat the real natural foods like Vegetables,  Fruits and whole food.  Our body is created on the basis of what we eat and drink. Incorrect western food habits have contributed to the spread of high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart diseases, cancer etc.

Healthy eating is a key to good health as well as maintaining a healthy weight. It’s not only what and how much we eat but also, it seems, how we eat is also important.

What to eat?

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  • Water – Drink lots of water instead of  carbonated beverages or soft drinks.
  • Vegetables –  Eat colorful varieties but not potatoes
  • Fruits (But avoid fruit juices)
  • Fish, Meat, Eggs – Fish is better than meat, and avoid processed meat and red meat
  • Nuts and Seeds – peanuts, almonds and in Sri Lanka we have “Kottamba” which is a wild almond – these contain healthy and bio-active lipids
  • Whole grains (traditional rice rich in proteins and fibers)
  • Healthy Oils (Olive, Coconut, Mee ata thel, which is traditionally used for cooking in Sri Lanka).  Olive oils are recognized as the best but virgin coconut oil is better too in lower doses (as it contains precursors of cholesterol).
  • Mushrooms – low in carbohydrates
  • Traditional yams and tuber root crops
  • Tea, Belimal, Ranawara etc.- Herbal beverages are far better than modern soft drinks.

Avoid these foods and drinks:

avoid-these-food-and-drinks

  • Processed foods – Many tend to consume lots of foods (or Junk foods) in this busy life-style but the added food additives in most of them are synthetic or artificial, which cause health issues.
  • Refined sugar –
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Potatoes
  • Legumes – Legumes are proteins of the poor nut which may contain anti-nutritional factors like protein inhibitors.
  • Processed oils – Vegetable, Corn
  • Carbonated beverages or soft drinks.
  • Labelled as – Light, Low fat, No fat, No added sugar, sugar free – Products which are labelled as no sugar or sugar free may contain low calorie or zero calories by adding synthetic or artificial sweeteners, like Aspartame, which are are not healthy in the long run.
  • Alcohol ? – Avoiding alcohol is controversial.  As some argue mild alcohols like toddy sake, fruit wines and beers contain some sort of vitamins phenolics and bioactive healthy molecules, hence those are healthy in lower doses.
Prof Hiran Amarasekera
Back to Nature Program 
Department of Forestry and Enviornmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura 
(Contributions by Dr Isuru Wijesekera and Prof KKDS Ranaweera from Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura are acknowledged). 

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