How much vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates and protein we need to stay healthy
The need to eat healthy balanced food cannot be over emphasized. After all, “you are what you eat”, goes a popular saying.
The overall health of a person rises and falls on the foods we eat, yet many don’t care about what goes into their bodies; the consequence of which could be fatal.
Owing to this, nutritionists, dieticians and food experts have for years been recommending what constitutes a healthy meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and how much of the food we should have per time to attain and maintain a healthy and a sound mind.
Godwin Adima (Nutritionist), Trinity Health Resources
An adult’s daily meal ideally should be made up of five percent starch, 15 percent protein, 30 percent fruits and vegetables and 50 percent whole grain, which you get from the likes of soya beans, wheat, ofada rice.
Also, take less foods that contain cholesterol and carbohydrate, you need only 300mg of cholesterol per day, and if you consume more than that in a day, the excess ones block the veins, and lead to chronic diseases.
Whole grains are very healthy, they make you feel lighter and better because they detoxifies the liver and other major organs. They equally increase the secretion of insulin for sugar metabolism. They contain lipid sterols, also called oil of life, which rejuvenates the lost cells in the body. An adult loses about 10,000 of the 73 trillion cells in the body per day. Each individual is as healthy as his cells are.
Would you advise eating meat?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), if an adult eats meat, it would take 72 hours for it to digest completely and that’s approximately three days. Note that when you are asleep, your whole organs except the heart shut down, so you’d over working the heart when you eat red meat. When it is overworked, it will start getting weak. There are different categories of meat – red and white meat. The difference is that the red meat is from beef; while white meat is from say chicken. So, it is not advisable for adults to eat red meat, white meat is preferable.
The basic difference between the red and white meat is their cholesterol content; red meat contains more and thus it is more difficult to digest. Parts like the intestines, kidneys which digest easily are recommended for the adult.
Goodness Onyekachi (Nutritionist), Greenworld Specialist
I’d recommend a lot of vegetables and regularly eating fruits. You should eat foods containing carbohydrates and protein regularly, you’ll need it.
What is your recommendation for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
For breakfast, don’t eat much. You can have a few slices of bread with tea; for fruits, water melon or apple. Alternatively, you can take pap with bean cake (akara) or boiled rice with vegetables – which ever works for you.
For lunch, Semo, pounded yam, eba with egusi or vegetable soup. After which you take orange or pineapple juice for easy digestion.
Dinner, you don’t want to have heavy food so you can sleep well. You can have what is called ‘eko’ in Yoruba or “moin moin”, just something light. And after the meal, you should be up for at least one hour, 30 minutes; make sure you eat before 7pm, preferably.
Adebusola Adewole, (Nutritionist), Elegante
That depends on your pocket. Vegetables are good, and so are fruits. But one thing I believe is that too much of everything is not good, things should be done in moderation. Except one is treating or managing certain health conditions, you can eat meat and all but not in excess.
For breakfast for the average income earner, you could have say three to four slices of toast bread with egg, some tomatoes and a cup of tea.
For lunch, you could have your regular rice with stew, topped with some orange juice.
At night for dinner, one thing most people do not know is that it pays to have dinner before seven. Digestion should take about eight hours, so if you eat at 10pm and you sleep one hour from that time, you’re not really giving your food enough time to digest. Eating late at night is what causes the belly to be big, because your food doesn’t properly digest and all the fat has to be stored up somewhere. If you will eat after 7pm, eat something very light, I wouldn’t advise eating eba. You could have something like vegetable salad with a cup of juice, that should do, you don’t much carbohydrate at night.
The most essential meal of the day is breakfast, it is what carries you throughout the day. Eat your biggest portion of food in the morning! Some say they sleep at work when they have breakfast and thus skip it, but it could lead to ulcer and different kinds of conditions. For such people, you could eat light in the morning. One dangerous routine people follow is skip breakfast, eat light lunch and now make up for all of that during dinner, that’s not advisable. It’s one of the causes of obesity!
With N1000, an average family can have the foods containing the basic nutrients they need in a day, you just have to know how to as opposed to buying junk.
Would you advise eating meat?
It is good to eat meat as it is one of the main sources of protein which is an essential nutrient. It is good to eat as long as you cook it well but not too frequent, especially for people with heart-related diseases. And this is because one of the by products of meat is cholesterol, and if you eat it too frequently, it will form plaque along your blood vessels, especially the arteries restricting blood flow which causes different heart conditions like hypertension. There are cases when someone just slumps and dies and people wonder what happened. Meat shouldn’t be your major source of protein, you can eat beans.