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How to Eat Healthy When You Don't Have the Luxury of Time

on 23rd May, 2017
healthy salad
Life in Dubai is fast-paced, and it isn’t always easy to find the time to have a healthy meal while you are on the go. Being a centre for business activities in the region, and hosting a large population, many people spend a significant amount of their day working and commuting. Add the demands of a busy family life, and the need to stop and relax from time to time, and it’s no wonder many people living in the city struggle to find the time to have a high-quality meal.

But failing to make healthy eating a priority means you might not have the energy you need to get through a demanding day, and could lead to health issues down the road. With some many other priorities in one’s life, it’s important to integrate healthy eating habits into even the busiest schedules. To help you understand what it means to eat healthily and how to make the task more manageable, here are some tips you can begin using today.

1. Choose Whole Foods

By creating a diet around whole foods, you stand a better chance of getting an appropriate amount of essential nutrients in your diet while eliminating added fats, sugars, and salts. These options also tend to be fresher, ensuring their nutritional value to as high as possible when they are consumed.

Often, a healthy diet is going to start with a base of vegetables and fruits, followed by healthy amounts of whole grains and suitable quantities of proteins. Vegetables and fruits need to be a priority as they are an important source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibre. Certain plants are also a source of protein.

Some plant-based foods do contain fat, such as olives and avocados, but they tend to contain healthier fats. However, it is still wise to only consume them in moderation in order to maintain a healthy eating oriented lifestyle.

2. Aim for Variety and Color

When selecting foods, especially fruits and vegetables, it is best to choose options representing a wide variety of colours. Often, the colour of a fruit or vegetable is partially attributed to the various nutrients present in the food. Different coloured plant foods provide different benefits.

For example, blue and purple fruits and vegetables contain the antioxidants anthocyanins and proanthocyanins, known for promoting heart health and optimal brain function. Red foods contain lycopene, a phytochemical that may reduce your risk of developing certain cancers.

Since it isn’t always practical to memorise which plant foods provide various benefits, the simplest way to eat healthy food is to focus on adding a range of colours to make sure you’re covered.

3. Include Healthy Fats

Fat can play an important role when you’re trying to eat healthily. It’s a potent source of energy and provides a variety of benefits if you choose the right varieties.

Focus on unsaturated vegetable oils like olive or sunflower oil, and limit your consumption of saturated fats, such as those found in many animal-based proteins, butter, and palm oil. When you do consume meat, aim for leaner options like chicken and avoid excess amounts of red meat. Additionally, avoid processed meats as they often aren’t just high in fat, but also high in salt.

When you choose to add milk or other dairy products to your diet, look for low-fat versions, and skip processed foods that contain trans fat altogether.

4. Be Mindful of Salt and Sugar

Healthy eating also means being mindful of salt and sugar, especially those added when a food is processed. Excess salt can increase your odds of developing high blood pressure, which can be a precursor to a heart attack or stroke. People who eat too much sugar may be at risk for obesity as well as tooth decay.

When you’re cooking a meal, work to avoid adding salt or using high salt condiments, like soy sauce. Additionally, avoid drinks that are high in sugar, like sodas and fruit juices, and opt for fresh fruit whenever you have a craving for something sweet.

5. Manage Portions

While many vegetables, like spinach, can be consumed in large quantities without negative consequences, higher calorie foods can easily lead to weight gain when eaten in excess. A healthy diet can include almost any food as long as the portions are properly controlled. Make sure the size of any meal is appropriate from the beginning, as it is easy to accidentally overeat when your plate is filled to the brim. Additionally, pay special attention to foods that are less healthy by design, and work to consume a small portion along with healthier items.

When in doubt, choose meals where vegetables take a prominent role in the dish. Then, choose whole grains and some lean protein. By filling your plate with plant-based foods first, you limit the amount of higher calorie items you can add, helping you to control your calorie intake naturally.

Eating Healthy On the Go

Many people feel stuck when it comes to trying to eat healthy while on the go. Luckily, there are restaurant options that can work well with a healthy eating lifestyle. To make restaurant foods work with your goals, make sure to pay attention to all of the ingredients and find out how the meal is prepared.

Often, you can make the task of eating healthy food easier by identifying restaurants in your area that focus on using whole foods. Choose meals that feature a generous portion of vegetables and fruits, focuses on whole grains, and uses lean sources of protein to create a healthy meal that can keep you fueled during the day and will treat your body right.

If you want to explore healthy eating options in a restaurant or order online for healthy food delivery in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, Circle Café is the go-to place for you. With a variety of dishes that aren’t just flavorful, but also healthy and tasty, Circle Cafe is sure to satisfy.