Facts that you need to know...
I'm sure that many of us want to adapt healthy lifestyle which always begins with healthy diet. However, are you aware that Malaysia is the sweetest nation in Asia? Malaysia also ranked first among ASEAN countries for the most people with obesity? So, why does this still happens even though the awareness to live healthily is already there? One of the reason that I would like to highlight today is Malaysians do not take enough dietary fibre.
Malaysian's diet not so healthy?
Let me give you an example. Let's say someone asked you, what's your country national dish? You're going to answer with nasi lemak, aren't you? Now let's imagine the nasi lemak people always eat for breakfast.
How big is the portion of the vegetables? Most of the times, there will only be one slice of cucumber, if you're lucky, you'll get two slices. Okay, what about roti canai? Do you eat roti canai with vegetables?
Yes, exactly. It's always only the roti canai and the gravy. Carbs and fats. There's no protein as well. These are the examples of our country's common dishes that Malaysians of any races and religions will always consume.
Time to make a change...
Now, moving on to the next problem: How can I make healthy diet more adaptable? It's expensive, time-consuming, and sometimes, the food tastes bland. So this is why I'm here today, I'm gonna share with you guys some healthy eating tips to make the journey fun and enjoyable!
First thing you can try to make sure that you're eating enough vegetables daily is by including them in your main dish.
For example, if you're having curry or soup as your main dish, throw in some fresh tomatoes and carrots into the dish, it will also help to enhance the taste and the flavour.
Another way is to always have salad in stock as salad goes well with almost every dish. Do you know that there are salads that gives off spicy taste? Yep, they are not always bland or bitter. But to make your salad more appetising, you can make your own salad dressing to mix together with the salad. The classic vinaigrette salad dressing only needs four ingredients, olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper. Besides the classic, you can also search for other easy salad dressings that needs less than five ingredients, and the best part is, you can refrigerate them if you don't want to use them straight away.
Next, limit your salt and sugar intakes. It's very easy to make your dish delicious without depending only on salt. Do you know that an adult should only consume 2000 mg of sodium daily and that's equal to 1 teaspoon of salt? Based on recent research, it's very hard to comply as we can find sodium not only in salt, but also in sauces, condiments, and MSG that's very common to be used in cooking. So, instead of using salt or sauces or MSG, we can substitute them with herbs and spices. You can find a lot of herbs and spices in the supermarket and some of the common ones would be oregano, thyme, mixed herbs, paprika, masala, and pepper. There are a lot more I didn't mention so you can try to survey and use them in your cooking after this.
Last but not least, is how to limit your sugar intake. The easiest way is to ditch all sugar-sweetened beverages in your daily life, but of course we will need our sugar fix once in a while, and that's okay. Besides, we can also try to reduce the amount of sugar by substituting it with fresh fruits as it also can contribute sweetness for the meal. For example, you can make chocolate sauce as a dipping sauce for any fruits of your choice without using any sugar!
Yes, you can. All you need is cocoa powder, medjool dates, water, and a pinch of salt. It's that simple and it tastes as good, if not better, as the other chocolate sauce that has sugar listed as the first ingredient in the ingredient list. You can also try to make pancake with only using egg and banana. Top it with some raw honey, your breakfast is now served.
I think that's it for the tips now, I hope you'll get some ideas on how to boost your healthy eating journey.