Health continues to be our top priority as we navigate the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic certainly has made us understand the importance of staying in top shape while maintaining a healthy diet. A healthy diet protects you against noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, which in turn helps you to fight COVID-19 better.
Menu with a healthy twist
Apart from trying out new recipes, you may also try to experiment with different ingredients to add a healthy twist to your favourite meals. For an example, you can try swapping white rice for cauliflower rice. As another option, you can have it mashed as well.
You can also switch up your favourite pasta dishes with zucchini, cutting them into thin strips. Mix it with your favourite pasta sauce and add in your choice of protein, chicken or beef or fish.
"A healthy diet protects you against noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, which in turn helps you to fight COVID-19 better."
Go for healthy snacks
It is important to avoid processed snacks and sugary drinks. Although enjoying them once in a while is fine, indulging in them all the time could lead to obesity or increase the risk of noncommunicable diseases. For example, you may opt to swap your strawberry ice creams for homemade strawberry popsicles.
Having a balanced diet
Eating healthy does not just mean swapping everything with healthy ingredients on your plate. It is also the quantity or serving of each food group for each of your meals. According to The Malaysian Healthy Plate (MHP) which emphasises on Suku Suku Separuh or Quarter Quarter Half (QQH) concept, you should divide your plate into:
- ¼ plate grains or grain products, preferably whole grains such as brown rice or wholemeal bread
- ¼ plate fish or, poultry, meat, or egg
- ½ plate of fruits and vegetables
Food hygiene is a must
The most important rule of food hygiene is to always wash your hands, cooking tools and working counters before handling your food. Always remember to wash your meat and poultry separately from where you rinse fruits and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination.
If you have leftovers from your lunch or dinner, always remember to store them in the fridge or freezer within 2 hours of cooking. Keeping leftover food in the fridge helps to slow down germs' growth and keep food fresh and safe for longer.
No time is not an excuse
Cooking three healthy meals from scratch at home seems impossible when you are living a fast-paced life. You may think it is hard to find time to cook a healthy meal and might often succumb to stopping by a fast-food drive-thru for a quick bite instead.
Don’t let time become the enemy – learn to work with the time you have based on your schedule. If you are crunched for time in the morning, try preparing your breakfast the night before so you can grab a quick breakfast before work. On the other hand, you might also feel cooking is a daunting task to do. Consider looking up easy cooking recipes online – there are a lot of recipes that take less than 30 minutes to prepare.
"There’s no time like the present to make your health a priority. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new way of living in the ‘new normal’, so why not take this opportunity to adopt a new healthier lifestyle?"
There’s no time like the present to make your health a priority. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new way of living in the ‘new normal’, so why not take this opportunity to adopt a new healthier lifestyle? It will do wonders to help you and your loved ones live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.