World Health Day 2024: Experts Reveal Healthy Dietary Patterns
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In the modern world, where everyone is busy earning big bucks and sticking to their desk jobs for most of the day, the sedentary lifestyle has opened the gates to many chronic illnesses. However, to help people across the globe realise the importance of good health and shooting high rates of conditions like heart attacks and diabetes, World Health Day is observed.

Every year, on 7th April, the World Health Organisation (WHO) observes World Health Day and organises international and regional events to raise awareness. In the same light, Slurrp conducted an exclusive interview with Abhilasha Sharma, a nutritionist and lifestyle coach. Abhilasha has revealed some exciting dietary patterns that you should follow for a long and disease-free life.

What’s The First Thing To Have After Waking Up?

While most people focus on cutting down on carbs and increasing their protein content, they forget that a healthy lifestyle starts right after they wake up. “After a healthy sleep of about seven hours, your body is in a state of dehydration, and you should break your fast with a glass of water,” says Abhilasha Sharma. 

She further states the importance of applying the concept of “Fat First” into your daily life. This means that you should start your day with a source of good fats like almonds, walnuts, or some ghee/butter in black coffee. Since your body is in a state of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) after waking up, healthy fats help to regulate the sugar levels and keep you full, which then helps to avoid munching on junk food later in the day.

How Heavy The Breakfast Should Be?

Contradictory to the old belief that your breakfasts should be the heaviest meal of the day, the nutritionist corrects the myth that all you need to do is balance your meals. Having a heavy breakfast and skipping lunch or dinner is not a healthy approach. Abhilasha says, “People feel like skipping meals will help them lose weight faster, but this approach is not healthy in the long run. The metabolism of the body slows down when you don’t eat a meal as per the body’s clock, and your weight actually spikes when you start eating the meal after a while.”

Balancing Lunch And Dinner

Coming to lunch and dinner, Abhilasha advises, “Half of your plate should be filled with vegetables. Be it in the raw form as salads or in the cooked form as your regular sabzi, the best approach would be a combination of both to balance the nutrients. The other half of the plate should consist of your cereal, like roti or rice, along with a bowl of curd. Having a bowl of raita would even add more value to your plate.”

She further states the importance of eating fruits between lunch and dinner to get the micronutrients, fibre, and vitamins A and C. Other than that, a dietary practice that you should follow is having a fixed time to have your meals. This World Health Day, you should fix a time range to help your body get into a routine and improve overall metabolism.

The Risks Of Desserts After Dinner

Something that the nutritionist noted in her career span is that Indians love to have something sweet after dinner. “The habit of eating desserts after dinner is hazardous. It spikes sugar levels, which is a large cause of the rate of heart issues and even cardiac arrest in the human population,” says Abhilasha.

When it comes to ending your day, Abhilasha advises to ideally not eat anything before sleeping and maintain a gap of at least two hours between dinner and going off to sleep. However, if you do feel the urge to eat or drink something before going to bed, you can eat figs as they help you get a good night’s sleep and also improve blood circulation. You can also drink jeera water or herbal teas like chamomile tea and lavender tea but without sugar or honey.

What Are Some Healthy Diet Tips And Patterns Everyone Should Follow?

Abhilasha Sharma says, “I have seen one common thing that people do is not measuring the amount of ghee, oil, or butter they are using in their food. The excess of these fats can derange the lipid profiles, which is again a cause of heart attacks. So, while making a tadka, you should measure the amount of oil you’re using. The safe amount would be about three to four teaspoons in a day for a healthy lifestyle.”

Another common observation made by the nutritionist is that most Indians don’t have colours and variety on their plates. You should eat different fruits and salads as part of your meal. Furthermore, the importance of adding seeds, dry fruits, and nuts to a daily practice could not be overstated by her. They are important not only for maintaining healthy physical health but also for improving your mental health.