Today obesity presents one of the biggest public health problems.
Research shows that during the last 25 years the rate of obesity has almost quadrupled in UK.
Obesity is termed as the mother of all diseases. The factors predisposing obesity are genetic factors, environment, and socio-economic influences.
Childhood obesity is becoming one of the major concerns. Obese children have more problem losing weight later in their lives.
So what can be a remedy to this problem? The only prevention, treatment and cure for this problem are “Healthy balanced diet”. What exactly is a balanced diet?
As per the food guide pyramid there are six food groups consisting of cereals, pulses, fruits & vegetables, milk & milk products, fish & poultry, fats & sweets.
A balanced diet is basically the balancing of all these food groups in your diet.
Carbohydrates form the major part of your diet. Of the daily total calories consumed by you 60-70% should be from carbohydrates of which majorly comes from cereals.
Many people see carbohydrates as bad food. No, it is very important to focus on complex carbohydrates which are high in fiber & other nutrients.
Refined grains, simple carbohydrates are the ones responsible to increase your weight. One of the reasons of obesity is also due to consumption of simple and refined carbohydrates. So focus on high fiber foods that do not allow fat accumulation in your body.
It in-fact gives you the required energy to keep running throughout the day. It also keeps you full for a longer time.
So when you are choosing carbohydrates go for whole wheat, brown rice, oats, muesli, bran preparations. Restrict your intake of sweets and simple sugars.
Protein: Protein is a basic building block of a balanced diet. Protein is required by our body for growth, building muscles and tissue replacement, but excess protein can also be harmful and they can damage your kidney. About 25-35% of the calories consumed should be from proteins.
Rich sources of proteins are fish & poultry, pulses & legumes. Fewer intakes of proteins can also be a cause of obesity as you might be reducing the protein intake and rather increasing your carbohydrate and fat intake. Moderate and good quality protein in your diet is essential to fight obesity.
Fat: You must be planning to take out fat from your diet to fight obesity. No, do not repeat the mistake that often many do.
Fat is also required by our body for certain important activities. Fat is required to give protective lining to different organs and tissues in our body and for proper brain functioning.
The type and amount of fat you are using is all that matters. A balanced diet comprises of unsaturated fat and restricts trans-fat and saturated fat. 20-30% of the daily calorie intake should be from fat.
But if you are planning to fight obesity an intake of 20% will do enough good with the main source being oil & nuts.
Vitamins and minerals: How often are you down with cold and flu shows how rich your diet is in essential vitamins and minerals?
The foods in this group provides very little calories but are very rich in all the vitamins and minerals required by your body and are also generally rich in fiber as well.
Fruits and vegetables top this group. Eat as much as you can and you would always be benefited. Focus should especially be on red and orange fruits & vegetables and on green leafy vegetables. Consume as much as you can and the only thing your body can do would be thanking you.
Calcium is required by your body to take care of your old age. It’s like an insurance plan for which you pay now and get your returns by the time you cross your forties.
Calcium is required to make your bones and teeth strong. A balanced diet should consist of about 1200-1500 mg per day. Milk & milk products are very rich sources of calcium.
If you think consuming milk and milk products can severely worsen your obesity then you have got it wrong. Go for skimmed or low fat milk or milk products, in-fact it will help you in losing further weight.
Water is also an important nutrient don’t miss it out in your balanced diet. Keeping yourself hydrated helps in flushing out toxins from your body and to regulate your body temperature.
Regular physical activity and a balanced diet can be your key to success in battling with obesity.