Friday, April 4, 2008

On dining out

American-style food has become the norm in our lives: burgers, sticky ribs, fried chicken, coleslaw, chips, fried onion rings, sodas and sundaes.

Do your body a favour and favour ethnic foods more than once in a while. Most countries' indigenous recipes conform to the food pyramid: high fibre, high carbohydrates, including vegetables, moderate protein and humble amounts of fat. Here are some examples for when next you eat out, or feel like entertaining at home:

Indian: Choose breads (naan and purl) and pulses (dhal), vegetarian curries and biryani (rice and a little meat). Avoid fatty lamb curries and coconut-milk desserts. Chinese: Choose soup, stir fry vegetables, steamed rice, cooked noodles, chow- mein, chop suey. Avoid deep fried sweet & sour dishes and bow ties.

Thai and Indonesian: Choose vegetables and seafood in broth, steamed vegetables and fish. Avoid deep fried dishes and curries made with coconut milk. Japanese: Choose sushi, sashimi (raw fish) and steamed or broth-cooked dishes. Avoid tempura and deep-fried ice cream. (True!)

Diet Start

Italian: Choose lightly dressed salads, minestrone, pasta with vegetable sauces, grilled veal with lemon, pizza breads and pizza with less cheese and salami, grilled fish and vegetables and sorbet and fruit for dessert. Beware of the antipasti tables - those delicacies are often swimming in oil: select from them with your head rather than with your heart. Avoid creamy sauces, cheesy pizzas and Italian ice cream.

The carbo consideration

As you know, certain slimming clinics and some diet doctors have vilified carbohydrates for decades. They claim that a low-carbo diet, rich in protein, will

Or improve your metabolism by forcing your body to release more growth hormones. This - the intake of mainly proteins - will ostensibly build more muscle tissue and in that way improve your metabolism forever. Forget it; its only a half-truth. The whole truth is that, in the absence of the energy the carbos are supposed to provide, your body will use up all the protein you eat as energy and after that, when more energy is required, which is invariably the case, it goes on to use some of its own protein as well. Remember those lean muscle cells? Those lovely little protein-filled cells that cause your metabolism to be energetic, vibrant and efficient. If you didn't have them, you would get fatter and fatter with each passing day. The bottom line? If you do not eat sufficient carbos for energy, it will promote chronic weight gain in the long run through the permanent loss of lean muscle tissue and very little, if any, real body fat will be lost.

Here's what you should consider when it comes to your carbo intake, so that in future you can manipulate it in such a manner that they actually work for you.

Simple carbohydrates are sugars like cane sugar, honey, fructose and glucose, Complex carbohydrates are starches like bread, pasta, dried beans and cereals.

  • The only differences between sugar and starch are their taste, nutrient values and rate of absorption by the body.Once ingested, the body converts all carbohydrates to glucose.
  • Try to consume 60 to 65% of your daily kilojoules from complex carbohydrates, preferably those with a low GI. The eating plan conforms to this principle. Simply follow it and you won't need to do any calculations! Eventually, this kind of eating pattern will become a habit, and your preferred way of life,
  • If you follow an eating plan rich in complex carbohydrates with a low GI, coupled with a low fat intake (around 33 g in total per day) your blood sugar levels will remain stable. You will enjoy a more naturally controlled appetite and greater emotional stability. The eating plan referred to is designed specifically with those factors in mind. Within days you will experience the full benefits of this way of eating. Your excess fat will start disappearing and you will have more energy than you ever thought possible, fewer mood swings, anxiety attacks, hunger pangs, sugar or starch cravings and you will start feeling optimistic and full of life.
  • Be aware that the digestion of carbohydrates begins with the first bite. If you don't chew your complex carbohydrates well, efficient digestion will not take place, which can impede your body's fat burning mechanism.

... andjoyohoxing