Easy tips to plan for healthier meals
Many people struggle to eat healthier; they try to kickstart a weight loss journey or find another way to maintain dietary health. There are many ways to keep track of your food intake and tons of online advice to help you eat healthier, but this is possibly one of the easiest ways to do so without stressing over counting calories and macros.
The Healthy Plate is a simple and easy-to-follow visual guide (ours is based on a 9-inch plate) to know how much to eat from the various food categories. The Healthy Plate helps you to eat proper portions to better manage your weight. Regular consumption of the right proportions of foods that are nutrient-rich and high in fibre can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases in the long run.
Components of The Healthy Plate
- 1/2 plate of fruits and vegetables
- 1/4 plate of wholegrains
- 1/4 plate of lean or good sources of protein
Fruits and Vegetables For The Healthy Plate
Fruits and vegetables not only add colours to our food, but also provide us with dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and helps in reducing the risks of developing heart diseases, stroke and certain types of cancer. Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables to get the nutrients that we need for our body.
Wholegrains for The Healthy Plate
The most commonly available wholegrain products you can find in Singapore are brown rice, wholegrain noodles and wholemeal bread. Other wholegrain products include wholemeal pasta, biscuits, wraps, noodles, oats and so on. Wholegrain foods are good sources of vitamins B and E, minerals, phytochemicals and inulin (a type of dietary fibre). Consuming unrefined food as such can help with prevention of developing heart diseases and diabetes, while also managing your weight at the same time (as wholegrains keep you full for longer).
For those who do not enjoy wholegrains like brown rice due to its taste or texture, you can add Alchemy Fibre™ For Rice to enjoy healthier white rice. Adding Alchemy Fibre™ For Rice during the cooking process of rice lets you enjoy lower GI* rice and 10x more fibre**.
*White jasmine rice with Alchemy Fibre™ For Rice is tested Medium Glycemic Index (same range as brown rice) by Sydney University GI Research Services.
**Based on rice cooked according to package instructions and dry weight.
Proteins for The Healthy Plate
Proteins include poultry, meat, seafood, dairy products, nuts, eggs and bean products. Fish and tofu have recently been proven to be healthier sources of protein based on scientific research. Protein is important as it helps to repair and build body tissues. Good sources of protein like lean chicken and fish provide more protein per calorie than meats high in fat content. Plant-based protein sources are great too and you can get protein from tofu and legumes.
Learn more about the Easy Healthy Plate
Other Healthy Habits as part of The Healthy Plate
- Use Healthier Oils
The preparation and cooking method of choice will affect the caloric content of the food. Try to avoid using too much oil, salad dressing (especially creamy ones), sugar, and syrup to season as it will result in high caloric content, thus leading to weight gain.
Healthier cooking methods include boiling, steaming, grilling and roasting. These methods require lesser oil during the cooking process.
Choosing oils you use for cooking is important too as healthy fats are essential in a healthy diet. Pick healthier oils such as canola, olive, soy, sunflower and peanut oils as they contain mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Healthier oils help to lower risks of heart diseases but should still be consumed in moderation as they contain the same amount of calories as regular oil.
- Choose Water
Many of us have the habit to purchase a sweet drink to go along with our meals, but that is one of the easiest ways to consume empty calories that are not beneficial for health at all. Opt for water or unsweetened drinks over sweetened drinks, it’ll help you to cut back on calories and help to maintain a healthy weight. Small changes as such can positively impact your health in the long run.
- Be Active
Get moving! Take some time out of your day to do some simple cardio such as walking, jogging, rope skipping and cycling, day-to-day activities such as house chores and taking the stairs or strength-training such as yoga, weightlifting and resistance band trainings are physical activities that are good for your health.
Exercising at least 3 to 4 days a week can form good habits to stay active and maintain your body’s physical health in the long run by balancing energy consumption and output.