Eating a balanced diet doesn’t have to be expensive or be a difficult task. You can decide today to start eating a balanced diet the right way with whatever budget you have.
All you need to do is be committed and eager to start and stick to a healthy guide. In this article, we have the Ghanaian guide to eating a balanced diet.
But before we get down to that, what is a balanced diet in the first place? It is simply a diet consisting of various food types that provide the body with the right amount of nutrients necessary to maintain overall health and growth.
A balanced diet provides the body with essential nutrients; fluid, macronutrients, micronutrients, and adequate food energy.
The Ghanaian Guide to Eating a Balanced Diet
1. Plan Out All Your Meals and Snacks
Meal planning can look like an overwhelming task, and admittedly, meal planning does take some time, but the results will be worth it.
Putting down your meal plan shows commitment and solidifies your decision to start eating a balanced diet. Planning your meals helps you write out a detailed shopping list. This will help you save time in the grocery store or the market.
Planning gives you an idea of what you want to eat according to your likes and dislikes. This means you are unlikely to waste the food you come home with since you have it all planned out. This will prevent you from eating spontaneously and helps you commit to a healthy meal plan.
Plan out what you will eat, how many portions to eat, and calculate the calories, so you will know exactly what you’re taking in every day.
2. Eat Five Times a Day
According to experts, eating 5-6 meals a day prevent your metabolism from slowing down.
Eating five meals a day means eating every three-four hours and eat fewer calories each time you eat. It involves having breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and dinner.
Eat small portions of meals and snacks since you will be eating every three-four hours. To do this successfully, plan each meal; this prevents you from settling for unhealthy, high-calorie, and junk meals and snacks.
3. Eat the Same Menu Everyday
Eating the same menu every day helps you stick with your diet plan. Research has shown that increased variety in diet is associated with fat and increased body weight.
The key when starting or maintaining a healthy diet is discipline. This is why it helps to eat the same menu every day for the first couple of days.
When you are sticking with the same meal for the first couple of weeks, you don’t need to worry about planning something new.
And you don’t need to worry about making any mistake by being tempted by unhealthy alternatives.
4. Eat More Ghanaian Meals
The African region has been trying to awaken Africans and the world to superb values. There is no better place to do this than being healthy through eating healthy Ghanaian dishes.
The Ghanaian dishes are notable when it comes to health and development processes. After all, most of the Western foods we crave over are junk and unhealthy options. Ask yourself, can pizza beat a green Ayoyo soup with a mouthwatering banku? The answer is no. and to probe further, Ayoyo with banku is healthier for your development than a pizza.
Deciding to include more local dishes in your meal is a decision to prevent ill health. Adding more Ghanaian meals to your plan prevents you from shifting to Western fatty foods.
The Ghanaian indigenous foods with an emphasis on green vegetables are among the healthiest foods in the world. Apart from subscribing to a balanced meal when you go the Ghanaian way, you also support the economy and the farmers in various ways.
5. Eat More Veggies and Fruits
Fruits and vegetables contain vital vitamins, minerals, fiber, and plant chemicals. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help your body gain all the necessary nutrients to protect you from a tall list of diseases.
It lowers your blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease, prevents stroke and some types of cancer, and lowers your risk of eye and digestive problems.
They are low in sodium and cholesterol and can help you maintain good health.
6. Prepare Most of Your Meals at Home
Cooking your food is hectic. Especially when you have a hectic 8 to 5 job, and you live in Accra with all the traffics.
In this case, eating out will seem convenient, but you will have no control over what you eat. You cannot estimate the calories or be sure of the ingredients they used or the portion sizes.
You cannot depend on commercial foods when it comes to developing a balanced diet lifestyle. When you plan and cook your meals at home, we have control, and it is less easy to keep track of all your ingredients, calories and regulate how much food you eat.
7. Start Every Meal With A Glass of Water
Since we don’t make time to drink enough water during our busy working hours, taking a glass of water is a way to establish this healthy habit and take your balanced meal plan to another level. And guess what?
Water is an essential nutrient. And research has shown that slight dehydration causes a drop in energy levels. This makes sense to conclude that water plays a vital role in your healthy meal planning.
And a glass of water before each meal is a perfect way to keep your energy level up.
Meal planning is the core of eating a balanced diet. It involves taking time to plan your meal for the week or month consciously.
Whether it is for yourself or the family, plan to eat healthy, from breakfast to lunch, every snack and meal.
This may sound overwhelming and time-wasting, but your health is on the line, and what you feed your body with contributes to good wellbeing or ill health. So eat right, eat balanced meals and eat them the Ghanaian way.