Did you know eating healthy is not about abstaining from certain food, but rather it’s about giving your body the right amount of nutrients to stay at the peak of your health?
People often misunderstand the meaning of a ‘healthy eating diet’; for instance, many would eliminate food that are high in carbohydrates or fats due to health concerns. However, dietitian Nurul Asilah is here to clear the air.
According to her, eating a balanced diet means consuming food with major macronutrients; carbs, fats and protein, and micronutrients; vitamins and minerals.
So, what is an unhealthy eating lifestyle?
One may associate poor eating habits with overeating. But that is only partially true as the situation is connected to both under and over-eating. Asilah said unhealthy eating happens when one has too little nutrients in their system or excessive consumption of sodium-rich and high-fat food.
“An unhealthy eating lifestyle can start at a very young age, during which people are experiencing rapid changes in physical and psychosocial development. Based on research, the lifestyle has the most significant influence on young adults and this may be largely due to stress and time pressure.
“These two factors pose a big roadblock to the adoption of healthy behaviours including inactive lifestyle among young generations. In addition, such eating patterns don’t just disappear but will linger on until later in life, causing the majority of them to be nutritionally vulnerable due to insufficient nutrient intake in the body,” she explained.
There is more to this bad eating habit than meets the eye. For instance, the growth of convenience stores and quick service restaurants in the market also contributes to the practice of unhealthy lifestyles. People are hooked on fast food; working adults, especially, often find themselves turning to convenience food and what drives their decision is the low cost and availability of quick and easy meals.
The dietitian said other than over/under-eating and gorging on junk food, skipping meals, eating away from home and mindless snacking are some common destructive eating behaviours.
The question arises: Does psychology play a role in our eating habits?
“We eat to survive, in which we have to make choices about what to eat, when and how much. This food decision-making is strongly related to the psychology of food, where mood and emotions are involved. We have abundant food that is cheap and comes in a wide array. While we often have the best intentions to eat healthier, this is often a challenging task. To achieve a good eating habit, we must change our thinking. By learning how to make healthier and more mindful choices, we are able to control compulsive eating, bingeing and weight gain. By taking charge of our appetite, we may also gain a feeling of calm, high energy levels and alertness from the food we eat,” she told Ipoh Echo.
It can admittedly be a little difficult to plan our exercise routine every week and it’s tiring to do the same thing every day. Hence, many often end up dragging their feet.
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