Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Nourish and flourish

Sow the seeds of well-being with every bite you digest into your body

All too often, we’re drawn into the allure of the perfect diet as we hop on that quest for wellness. But in our ever beautiful Abode of Peace, culinary delights flourish, and it’s clear: what we eat shapes our well-being.

From trendy diets to old favourites, we’re all on a journey to find what works best for us.

PHOTO: ENVATO

Nonetheless, amidst the hype, it’s crucial to listen to our bodies and take a relaxed, balanced approach to eating.

So, let’s dive into the world of diets with insights from the Ministry of Health’s BruHealth app.

VEGETARIAN DIET

This is a diet where plants take the spotlight, and meat and poultry take a backseat. There are a few flavours in this veggie mix – you’ve got your lacto-ovo, where dairy and eggs are fair game; your lacto, where dairy’s on the menu; and your ovo, where eggs steal the show.

While veggie diets are praised for their potential health perks, it’s worth noting they might need a little extra attention to make sure you’re getting all the goods, like vitamin B12 and iron.

PESCETARIAN DIET

This diet involves fish and seafood. It’s is like getting the best of both worlds: all the goodness of a vegetarian diet, plus a boost of omega-3 fatty acids and protein from those ocean delights.

VEGAN DIET

This diet takes vegetarianism up a notch by giving all animal products, like dairy and eggs, the boot. It’s all about embracing the plant-powered life to the fullest! But hey, while you’re loading up on those veggies and plant-based goodies, it’s essential to keep an eye on your nutrient game.

KETO AND ATKINS (LOW-CARB) DIET

These diets are all about dialling down those carbs to seriously low levels – like, we’re talking less than 50 grams a day for Keto and even lower, around 20-25 grammes a day, for Atkins. They’re big on protein and fat, aiming to kick your body into ketosis mode, where it torches fat for fuel like a champ.

Now, while they might promise some quick wins on the scale, keeping up with the carb-cutting can be a real challenge, and experts are still debating what it means for the long haul.

MEDITERRANEAN DIET

Picture a plate filled with loads of colourful fruits, crisp veggies, hearty whole grains and all the good fats from olive oil. It’s like bringing a taste of the Mediterranean right to your plate! This diet isn’t just about deliciousness; it’s also linked to lower rates of those pesky chronic diseases, making it a real winner in the health department.

DIETING DILLEMAS

Let’s chat about the ups and downs of popular diets.

So, the Vegetarian Diet? Yeah, it’s pretty cool, but it’s not a slam dunk for health. If you’re not careful, you might miss out on protein and end up chowing down on too many processed foods.

And then there’s the Pescetarian Diet, which has its perks, but watch out for those fish with high mercury levels and make sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals like B12, calcium and zinc.

PHOTO: ENVATO

Now, onto the Keto and Atkins Diet (Low-carb) – they’re all about fast weight loss, but they come with a side of potential nutritional gaps and a higher risk of heart disease because of all that saturated fat.

And hey, props to Veganism for its ethical stance, but it’s easy to fall short on nutrients like B12, iron, and calcium if you’re not paying attention.

Oh, and don’t forget about the Mediterranean Diet! It’s a winner overall, but don’t get carried away with the fried stuff and sweets. Keep it balanced, and you’ll be soaking up all those health benefits in no time!

HEALTH CHECK:

THE BREAKDOWN

Your diet is just one piece of the health puzzle. While committing to a specific eating plan might match your beliefs or goals, it won’t automatically ensure your Health Index Dietary assessment is a glowing “Healthy”.

Brunei’s Ministry of Health emphasises a balanced and wholesome diet, following the National Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating Brunei Darussalam (2020). These guidelines promote a diverse mix of nutrients from various food groups to support your overall well-being, aiming for a well-rounded healthy diet.

The National Healthy Food Plate is a handy visual guide, illustrating recommended daily proportions and food examples from five key groups.

Aim for six to eight servings of starchy foods, like bread or rice, and two to three servings of protein-rich foods, such as eggs, fish, or chicken breast slices.

Get your fruits and veggies in with two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables daily, whether it’s a slice of papaya, a cup of raw veggies, or a half-cup of cooked leafy greens. And don’t forget your milk and dairy – aim for two to three servings a day, whether it’s a glass of milk, slices of cheese, or yogurt.

Cut back on high-energy, sugary, and salty foods, and keep hydrated with plenty of water.

For personalised dietary advice, chat with a healthcare pro or dietitian who can tailor recommendations to your tastes and needs.

After all, your health journey is personal, and your dietary choices should reflect your unique goals and preferences.

To really boost your well-being, take a holistic approach.

Focus on balanced nutrition, regular exercise, good sleep, stress management and routine health check-ups. Building a repertoire of healthy habits that suit your individual needs will do wonders for your overall health, going beyond any single diet plan.

IN A NUTSHELL

Mix it up! No single food has it all, so diversify your plate for a balanced nutrient intake. Popular diets have perks, but watch out for pitfalls if you’re not careful.

Diets alone don’t guarantee a clean bill of health; take a holistic approach.

And, lastly, think beyond food and adopt those other healthy habits into your life. – Izah Azahari

PHOTO: ENVATO
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