It's the Season to Plan Your Wedding! Or your sister's wedding, your brother's wedding, your friend's wedding...well some wedding happening next year. You'll pick out the aso ebi, rent a venue, find a wedding planner and you'll visit fabnaija for assistance. There's one more thing I'd like you to consider - making your wedding food heart healthy or just healthy in general. We've got many African parents living with heart disease and diabetes, and we Africans love to celebrate with food. People don't want to be left out of the eating festivities when we have orisirisi (all sorts) right in front of them. Actually, the point of this little note is to mention ways you can make our food a little bit healthier for those who have diabetes or heart issues and even just as a preventive and healthy living measure for everyone else
The tips on http://www.diabetes.org/ are very helpful. The tips we have here help with African foods in particular
If you have any tips, please share with us all.
1) Instead of Eba, pounded yam or amala, use plantain flour, oatmeal flour or just oatmeal or whole wheat flour. You can provide these alternatives when you host an event as well. Your guests will know you care about them
2) Pottage yam when available tends to attract lots of attention as we tend not to make this often at home. Avoid eating lots of yam because of the high sugar content. If you use potatoes instead of yam, use more sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Sweet potatoes are higher in fiber.
3) Meat: White meat is generally better than red meat. Eat fish 3 to 4 times a week. Completely avoid red meat if you're in a danger zone, if not, eat only once a week. White meat includes chicken, fish, salmon, tilapia, catfish, turkey. Many African events already have fish and chicken anyway which is great. Go a step further and provide grilled options. Ask your caterer to garnish with green and red peppers so they don't look like the boring option. healthy doesn't have to taste horrible.
4) Soups: use Extra virgin olive oil for your cooking. Add tomatoes to soup for color instead of palm oil. if I must use palm oil, i use just a spoon because i like that hint of palm oil taste and then use olive oil as well. works for beans and soups. watch the dried fish in your soup. dried fish is sometimes preserved with salt so consider removing the skin. Goat meat is lean so it's great but also expensive. However, if you want some red meat, goat meat is a better option than beef. So if you cook once a week with goat meat, once a week with beef and 3 times a week with fish and avoid meats and fish 2 days a week, you're covered.
5) Avoid frying, but if you must fry (you really want that dodo) limit your portion and use safflower, avocado or coconut oil.
6) Your tomato stew is just fine. tomatoes release even more nutrients when they are boiled. but don't cancel their benefit by piling on 5 spoons of oil into the pot and loads of salt. Watch the salt and oil.
7) Sprinkle flaxseeds on your food as much as possible. They are said to be good for managing your cholestorol.
8) Breakfast: for Butter, use cholestorol free butter for your usual morning bread and tea. use smart balance or I can't Believe it's not butter. for the tea, use fat free milk (taste good too). no evaporated or powdered milk (too fatty and sugary). Avoid sugar if you can, if not just use a little bit or use brown sugar which is less processed. Moi-moi is a great option for a healthy breakfast but avoid filling it with egg yolks, shrimps etc. use chicken or fish instead. Eat fiber rich cereals and avoid cereals coated with additional sugar
9) Avoid Sodas. Try to take the recommended 6 to 8 glasses of water. add fresh lemon, orange or grape for flavor if needed. Buy yourself a big bottle that contains your recommended amount. Each morning, fill it and drink it by the end of the day.
10) African salad. Pretty much Salad made with Heinz salad cream. Almost everything we add to this is great but for the salad cream which is pretty much the reason most of us love the salad anyway. Avoid the salad cream and taking more than one egg yolk
11) Rice: use whole wheat rice or pasta. eat whole wheat bread or oat based bread. tomato based pasta sauce is better than creamy pasta sauce
12) Jollof rice, fried rice, coconut rice: these need a special line from just rice. start by making them with whole wheat or brown rice. then take small portions. then be sure to pack that plate full with veggies or beans and white proteins (fish, salmon, chicken, turkey). i say if you're having rice, then avoid red meat altogether because those are 2 things you should be having in reduced portions anyway. The veggies in the fried rice generally don't count as veggies cause you know those things usually stay in the pot for quite a while when we are making fried rice.
13) Ask your family to join in your objective to eat better and healthier. Even when you go out to eat, pick restaurants with those healthy meals
Of course, still see a doctor to treat your diabetes or heart condition, take prescribed pills and test your blood sugar. It is Well :)
Please share your tips with us.