If you are in your early 20s, chances are you don’t give a second thought to what you are feeding your body, since diabetes, cardiovascular problems and other lifestyle diseases are at least a decade away.
However, what you eat now sets the foundation of your health for the rest of your life. If you regularly feed yourself crappy food, that is how your body will feel – ultimately leading to weight gain, thyroid issues or depression in the short and long term. So twenties, is the best time to clean up your diet for a healthy life.
Diet Issues in your 20s:
- Living on junk food every day, be it burgers, noodles, pizzas or ice-creams.
- Cold drinks are a staple in your diet and you can’t get past a day without fizzy sugary drinks.
- The only veggie you eat is the shoddy piece of lettuce in your McD.
- Erratic meal schedules and frequent meal skipping is a recipe for protein and mineral deficiencies.
How to Eat Smart:
1) Well, you don’t have to completely abstain from your favourite pizzas and maggi, the easiest strategy is to cut back the junk to only 2-3 times in a week, instead of binging on them every day.
2) Cold drinks destroy your teeth, make you fat and fill your body with toxic chemicals. Natural fruit juices, shikanji, coconut water or badam milk – these alternatives for fizzy drinks are equally refreshing, delicious and much more nutritious.
3) Young adults in this age group are particularly susceptible to emotional stress and depression. Adding omega–3 rich foods – like walnuts – to your snack list can help in counteracting stress by releasing a feel-good chemical in the brain.
4) Proteins help to build that lean look you want by building calorie – burning muscles. To get the daily dose of 50 – 60 grams proteins, avoid yo-yo dieting and skipping meals. Lentils, beans, dairy, eggs, meat and tofu are ideal choices to get this.
5) Potassium is needed for proper muscles and heart functioning. It also clears outexcessive salt that comes in your diet from processed foods, warding off the danger of high blood pressure and stroke as you age. However, most adults in their 20s get half the recommended intake of 4700 mg in a day. Eating at least 2 fruits and 2 cups of veggies will ensure optimum potassium intake.
The writer is a dietician and has completed her education from Great Britain