Thursday, December 8, 2022

Healthy Living: Nutritionist Harps On Portion Control, Choice Of Foods

Healthy food

Nigerians have been advised to imbibe the habit of controlling the portion of food they dish at a time and choose their foods based on their nutritive value, beyond anything else, to live and be healthy.

In a chat with Science Nigeria today in Abuja, a nutritionist and CEO of Green Economy Alternative Africa, Douglas Akuba, said both habits are “very necessary for healthy living, even after intermittent fasting”. 

The expert said that in the morning, after a night-long fast, the body is almost starting to burn fat. “However, before that is about to happen,” he observed, “they flood the liver with glucose.

“If you want to lose weight, the worst thing you can do is start your day with breakfast cereals.

“You should avoid bread, your rice should be portion-controlled and cooked with mixed or leafy veggies with plenty of eggs, fish or meat. 

“When dealing with stubborn, belly fat, make sure to hydrate properly and pay attention to how you feel after taking a particular meal,” he advised. 

Akuba said that proteins and fats stimulate leptin – a satiety hormone that makes a person full easily and keeps hunger pangs at bay. 

He posited that refined carbs like bread and pasta stimulate the ‘ghrelin factor’ or ‘hunger hormones’. “It pushes you to binge, ghrelin stimulates hunger and would make a person overeat. 

“Low carbs, high protein and medium-healthy fat diets are all you need.

“Small rice, 5 to 6 eggs, mixed veggies, with sauce on the side,” he continued, “with more soups, plenty of meats, ponmo, fish and other important proteins will ensure you don’t need too much swallow.

“Avoid wheat and semolina ‘swallow’ but cook your soups with beef tallow and palm oil, if possible.

“Extra fats from the tallow keep you full longer and [is] great for your gut health,” he said. 

“To get the best of good health,” he continued, “one needs to observe a 30-hour fast weekly and a 48-hour fast twice a month. Between 16 and 18 hours daily, with plenty of water. You can add some pink salts – which are great for your guts – to your water during the fasts.”

He advised Nigerians with ulcers to add some salt to their carrot/cucumber-infused water, cautioning that they do not over-do it. 

“People with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and leaky guts should fast a bit longer to induce healing of their guts. SIBO is characterised by bloating, constipation, indigestion and low intestinal motility. 

“Even water can cause people with SIBO to suffer constipation. Many have weight gain issues due to a lack of vital nutrients lost by the guts’ inability to absorb them. When they follow the process and apply them, they will see results,” he advised.

Racheal Abujah
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