Until December 2019 when the coronavirus disease (which is an infectious disease) broke out from Wuhan China, the world’s attention had shifted to chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, among others. The solution to infectious diseases include the maintenance of good hygiene; hand washing and keeping a clean environment, etc
We do not have to shift our attention from these NCDs, since they slowly lead to death and cause so much disability and illness. One habit that predisposes us to the NCDs is eating more food than we need. This leads to excessive weight gain which has been proven to increase chances of people developing the NCDs
Eating a healthy, well balanced meal is key to preventing NCDs. Ideally, everyone who wants to eat in a healthy manner would have to consult a dietician who will carry out necessary assessments on them and prescribe diets that will be of help to them. Since this cannot be done by everyone; following the following simple guide will be of so much help.
Ensure that you eat complete meals three times daily. When I say complete meals, I mean your food should be composed of food groups that will deliver all six food nutrients into your system at each meal. Thus, eating single food items will not guarantee you the necessary nutrients which are vital for life and well-being. There has to be a concentration the portions of the major nutrients sources as well; namely; carbohydrates, proteins and fats/oils.
The proportion of your plate which should provide you with carbohydrates like yam, rice, banku, kenkey, etc. should not be more than a quarter. The proportion of protein foods should also not be more than a quarter of your plate. Vegetables and fruits should cover up to half of your plate. Fruits however should be taken in small amounts, especially each time that we have them. This will help prevent excessive sugar intake from fruits
It is also important to eat early each day. Eat breakfast before 8am, lunch by noon and supper before 7pm all the time. Exercise is also very necessary for good health so get to do some exercise almost every day.
As a dietician and author, I have shared extensive knowledge on this topic in various books; such as: Be your own dietician – Vol. 1, LIVE LONG by eating well – Vol. 1, and Eating to prevent and manage lifestyle diseases.
By: Wise Chukwudi Letsa
Dietician & Author