admin Oct/ 29/ 2016 | 0

Eating is an important part of Singapore’s culture. There are more to eating than just feeding our bodies. Yes, healthy eating brings you better health. But eating also feeds our emotional and social hungers. Many people use eating to enhance their social or business relationships. Imagine a social gathering without food, it seems that something is missing isn’t it? Whether is it a full-course formal dinner or a buffet lunch, we build camaraderie by eating together with our friends and family. Since food plays such an important role in our lives and we are all going to eat anyway, why not eat healthfully? What constitute healthy eating There is a saying that we are what we eat. So eating healthy is essential if we want to stay healthy. Firstly, we need to understand that there are 4 basic groups of food that our body needs. They are:

Group 1: Poultry and meat

Group 2: Dairy products

Group 3: Grains, cereals and eggs

Group 4: Vegetables and fruits

Secondly, we need to know that our health depends on the acid levels in our body. Acids are generated when the foods are broken down during digestion. After the foods are digested, they usually leave a residue called ash, which can be either neutral, alkaline or acidic. For optimal health, our body need a slightly alkaline environment, measured by pH of around 7. In order to achieve that, we need to take more alkaline food than acidic food. Amongst the 4 basic groups of foods, only vegetables and fruits can be considered alkaline.

The other 3 groups are generally acidic in nature, with poultry and meat (including fish) being the most acidic. A good healthy eating tip is to ensure our daily food intake comprise at least 70% vegetables and fruits. The secret to healthy eating is therefore to increase the amount of alkaline producing foods while reducing the amount of acid producing foods i.e. high protein foods.

This will help to create a slightly more alkaline environment which is conducive for optimum health. This is in line with the government’s campaign to encourage Singaporeans to eat less meat, less fat and fried food. However, to be realistic, how many of us actually take at least 70% vegetables and fruits everyday? The key is to balance the balance each of the 4 basic groups in our daily meals. Irony of fat-free healthy eating We are told to eat less fats and take more lean meats and fish to lower cholesterol level. But switching from fatty meats to lean meats is not the total solution to better health.

This is because lean meats can be more acidic than fatty meats. In other words, lean meat, which is high in protein, produce more acid ash after digestion, which could be harmful to the body. We are also told to take more vegetables and fruits. Now we know why. It is to keep your body’s environment at slightly alkaline level. Vegetables and fruits is able to supply your body will organic sodium to build up your body’s alkaline reserves. Therefore, the first step to healthy eating is to increase the amount of vegetables and fruits everyday.

However, do it slowly as your body takes time to adjust. I know some people who gets too excited about this new healthy eating regime and jump in with unrestrained enthusiasm, only to end in disappointment and failure. Their health may improve, but they don’t feel good. Those who changed their diets too fast often result in lack of energy, headaches and feeling bad. It is an irony that improved healthy eating habits can lead to misery. So if you want to get healthy and feel good about yourself, change slowly and let your body adjust. Now it’s your turn. Care to share how are you coping with your new healthy eating way?