Healthy meal times vital


MATIPAISHE Murerwa is a working mother of two.
After spending the day at the office, she drives home around five.
She gets home, takes a bath as she waits for her favourite TV soaps between seven and eight.
Her husband comes home around 19.30 and they have dinner together around 8pm, watching the news bulletin.
The meals typically comprise of sadza, rice or spaghetti, meat and vegetables, depending on the day.
After that they have either juice or fizzy drinks.
Matipa’s evening routine could typify the average modern Zimbabwean urban lifestyle.
A local dietician, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the above scenario is wrong. The recommended time for dinner is between 5 to 7pm and a bit of activity after.
“The recommended meal times, especially for dinner, should be before 7pm,” said the dietician.
“The reason being, you need food to be digested before sleeping because the risk of eating and going to bed is that you are most likely to gain more weight since there is less activity during sleep.
“We recommend that someone takes in light foods during dinner and eat meals which have more vegetables while drinking a lot of water in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle which is essential in the prevention of diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart, often linked to diet, among other factors.”
He added that as much as possible, people should avoid processed foods which have slowly replaced the traditional foods that Zimbabweans used to eat.
Western foods like pizza, burgers and fries, among others, have been cited as not suitable for a healthy condition, especially if consumed in excess.
“Some of these foods gradually cause serious damage to the stomach, liver and the whole body. We are ignoring fresh fruits and homemade traditional dishes for more more ‘junk’ food,” said the dietician.
“This doesn’t mean you have to eat plenty of healthy food all the time, and keep yourself full throughout the day. Eating healthy food should also be limited to certain levels, as eating too much of food might cause serious health issues sometimes.”
Research shows that in adults, unhealthy diets are linked to four of the top 10 risk factors that cause premature death — high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight and obesity, and high blood sugar that is commonly seen in diabetes.
Recent changes to diet, physical activity levels and lifestyle make people prone to heart disease.
Diet high in animal fat, low in fresh vegetables and fruit as well as high in alcohol have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Therefore, people should choose a diet that is low in bad fat and salt.
Scientists now understand that fat — especially fat around the stomach — can significantly impact blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels and interfere with the ability to use insulin effectively.
Insulin is needed for energy and one’s metabolism.
Body mass index (BMI) and stomach circumference are two standardised methods of measuring one’s cardiovascular risk. As one gets fatter, the risks of developing Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure significantly rises.
There were 209 800 cases of diabetes in Zimbabwe in 2015.
The Fit Indian has the following tips:
As soon as we get up in the early morning, all our body parts will look for energy. Since our body is rested for 8 – 10 hours, it doesn’t get that required amount of energy it needs. Therefore, it is required to take a calorific, healthy food as early as possible in the morning. Many of us might have a habit of taking coffee or tea in the morning hours, which might refresh you for a while.
The sad part is, it will kill your hunger and keep you away from food for much time. So, it is always better to have breakfast instead of taking tea or coffee. If you don’t like to have your breakfast, just eat a fresh fruit to support your body.
Make sure you never skip your breakfast, as your body will be waiting to get some food for its existence. And if you are health conscious, replace your oily food with oatmeal, cornflakes and bread toast, among others.
Lunch and snacks
Previously, people used to eat only three times a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and never touched any other food after that.
This practice should be avoided, as it might affect your digestion process in many ways. Many people believe in consuming more quantity of food in the lunch and dinner time, which is not at all a good eating habit to follow.
Many surveys and food researches suggest we eat less in more quantities. They also suggest we eat the food in stipulated quantities for every 2-3 hours, which helps us gain enough energy throughout the day.
This particular procedure of eating food will keep our bodies fit and won’t allow the energy to store in form of fat.
Doctors and nutritionists suggest we eat fruits, sprouts, healthy salads and snacks for every 2-3 hours throughout the day.
Dinner time
Since we work a lot in the morning hours, it is better to support our body with enough food (energy).
The night diet should be very limited, as we burn all our calories while sleeping, which will be of no use. At the same time, our digestive system and body organs won’t be active for much longer, which might create digestion issues.
These days, our life style is completely changed with late dinners and immediate sleep. Avoiding these kind of bad practices will keep you fit, and remember to finish your dinner 2 hours prior your sleep.
Balanced diet
Eating natural foods like fruits and vegetables can help you lose weight quickly while supporting your body with good immunity power.
We should avoid eating junk foods to keep our bodies safe and toxins-free. Some fruits and vegetables contain anti-oxidants elements, which help improve our body cell growth.
Natural foods also contain high amounts of vitamins and proteins which supply natural energy and power.
We should never miss eating the seasonal foods as well as the normal fruits to gain high immunity power and body growth.
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