Healthy eating can mean a lot of things to different people. Some try to cut down on general food consumption or give up certain foods, while others try to opt for more fruit, vegetable and healthy food intake. The middle ground is probably a lot easier to manage. Eat a balanced, healthy diet and couple it with some regular exercise!
Problem is, not everyone has enough free time to focus on dietary requirements and be conscious of what they eat. Convenience food is readily available and is taken on the go by many of us. But on-the-go foods can sometimes be loaded with quick fix sugar and salt and other unhealthy ingredients. We don’t all plan every meal or cook from scratch everyday, but we can subtly change the things we buy or use to prepare meals and be healthier.
One of the biggest bad guys when it comes to talking about food is the dreaded cholesterol. If you are not sure what cholesterol is, it’s a type of fat found in the blood and can be ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Too much, and it can cause heart disease.
The biggest cholesterol culprits are saturated and trans fats. We should be having no more than 30g of saturated fat a day for men, and 20g for women. Though food packaging does carry the “traffic light system” it can still be hard to work it out and determine how much cholesterol we consume as a part of our daily food intake.
Saturated fats can be found in lots of processed foods – processed meats and lots of dairy products like cheese, milk, cream and some oils. Trans fats are a big no-no if you want to stay healthy – warning foods are fried foods, biscuits, snacks, crisps, and the ever-present takeaway.
Too much cholesterol can also lead to Type 2 Diabetes. As people get older, the chance of it occurring creeps up, especially if you’re overweight, don’t really exercise much or have a history of it.
Healthier Eating Habits
Historically, the South Asian community are at a particularly higher risk due to a combination of high risk genetics, diet and lack of physical activity. A genetic predisposition to insulin resistance also means a healthy; balanced diet is needed to cut down risk of diabetes significantly (http://www.pamf.org/).
All you need to do is swap a few items from your shopping basket, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Use olive or rapeseed oil when cooking, use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk instead of whole milk, and choose lower fat cheeses or yogurts to cook with. That’s just the start! Once you really make that plunge and embrace a lifestyle change, there’ll be no stopping and you’ll be lowering cholesterol until it’s in the safe zone without realising, and working towards a healthy heart.
However, what can make it difficult is breaking from tradition. South Asian food is a riot of colour, packed with exotic spices, depth of flavour, but can come with rich sauces and sides like chapattis.
Many consider chapattis to be the cornerstone of South Asian meals. For generations, families across the country have come together at the dining table and dipped, crunched and enjoyed them with dals, pickles and curries. Made the right way a chapatti can be a healthy part of any meal South Asian diet, leading to a healthy family.
Elephant Atta Chakki Gold is 100% whole-wheat flour and unlike refined flour contains the entire grain. It has great health benefits for all ages – more fibre, which helps control blood sugar, preventing the body from absorbing bad cholesterol and lowering body fat intake – all of which are major contributors to heart disease. Plus, it helps manage weight by filling you up.
It can also be used to make things like tortillas (and countless other healthy meals and recipes) which you can stuff until it almost bursts with crisp, fresh veg, avocado, fish or (skinned) chicken with a low-fat homemade dressing for a snack, lunch or part of a main meal. The possibilities are endless!
Using Elephant Atta Chakki Gold will go a long way to helping you love your heart, and make soft, fluffy delicious chapattis to crown the table.
Healthy food choices and right exercise routines are important players in maintaining healthier lifestyles. To find out more, there’s loads of friendly, clear advice at www.chakkiforheart.co.uk. Because Elephant Atta is a proud supporter of a healthier lifestyle through food and sharing advice, we’ve teamed up HEART UK to help people to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing, and keep hearts stronger, for longer.
HEART UK is the UK’s leading organization dedicated to supporting people and families who are concerned about rising cholesterol levels and providing them with guidance and education.
October has shaped up to be a busy month focusing on health with the national cholesterol month being marked. We have put together lots of engaging and really useful information for you – health tips, product information and super promotions to help you make small changes with a big impact, and to top it off we have a fantastic competition running to get motivated and healthier. There are also over twenty practical and tempting healthy meals on our website packed with lots of healthy cooking tips which could become 5 meals a week!
Share your best practices for a healthier lifestyle photo with us on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #ShareIfYouCare and enter for a chance to win a fitbit! Nominate a friend too, and have them be involved to join in adapting a healthier lifestyle.
Overall, a healthy diet doesn’t mean a compromise on taste; it just means a few subtle changes with a big impact. Reach for another chapatti, or grab an extra spoonful of curry, as long you are adapting the healthy ways to make them and, don’t forget to share healthier lifestyle tips if you care.