Diet Filipino Food : Is there really such a thing?
"Everything starts with a tub of oil." That's how my friend puts it.
I want to share with you my take on the Filipino diet.
It's not to bash on the food we grew up in and love so much but to have a better understanding and make a plan on how to eat better and healthier.
I have had my share of the so-called yo-yo diet and I realized it's because of not having a plan going into dieting.
But before that, let's take a look if we could incorporate the food we are so used to having into making it some sort of diet Filipino food.
For us, what's a meal without white rice, right? That's the staple of our diet.
But studies have evolved about white rice causing weight gain. The starch in the rice turns to sugar which induces appetite.
I believe moderation is the key. Have you heard about using your palm as basis for food portion?
What's just enough rice for your body needs?
If you make a fist, that's the right portion of rice, pasta or noodle for you to consume.
Ask any Pinoy kid as to what his favorite dish is -- most will say "Fried Chicken".
It's hard to turn away from a culture where TV commercials feature fried chicken as the ultimate treat, and Lechon feast signifying a celebration's grand standing.
But if you want to reclaim your health and jump-start your diet Filipino food plan, you need to stay away from food that are pampabata or food that makes you stay young (because you will die young if you keep on a fried food diet).
Try roasting, baking or grilling instead of frying. And take off the skin!
For meat portion size : the Palm method says if you open your hand, the size of your palm (yes, the palm and just the palm) is your perfect portion.
Let's face it, we love our rich, creamy sauces, or savory, fat-infused meat dishes to go on top of our white rice.
And then serve that with a salty dipping sauce?
Remember, the meat sauce in itself is laden with fat and calories (that's why it's so flavorful), then add to that the meat portion...that could be in itself your half-a-day calorie allowance.
The food pyramid suggests a serving of vegetable in every meal for optimum health.
I don't think Fried eggplants or mushy Pinakbet fall on this category.
Try sauteing your favorite vegetable in little oil, and leave it a little on the crunchy side.
Overcooked vegetables are not only unappetizing, the fiber nutrient is gone and all the flavor is drained out to the sauce.
Well, not really a tub, but you get the picture, right?
Whatever oil you put into your saute goes into your dish. We use oil to bring out the flavor of garlic and onions. Using more of it doesn't add anything to the taste.
Even using the healthy oil alternatives such as Olive Oil or Canola will not help the waistline if you are using too much.
A tablespoon of oil is just enough to start your saute dish.
Who doesn't love Fruit Salad or Leche Flan after a hearty meal?
But sugar is sugar! Anything processed or not in its natural form is not good for you.
Try to fill up on fruits so you won't have room for the sweet desserts.
I know, I know... you want that satisfaction of a big burp to end a good meal that only Coca-cola can deliver!
And you say, anyway -- it's Coca-cola Zero.
Zero or not, it's still not a healthy alternative to water or tea -- and you wonder why you don't lose the bulging lower abdomen (puson)?
I suggest to cut your soda consumption to, say, three times a week for the next 3 months, then down to twice or once every couple months... up until you just have it when you're dining out.
Everyone has to start somewhere, right?
Study shows it takes 21 days to break a bad habit -- likewise, it takes 21 days to create a good habit! There's always a choice.
We all want to eat and stay healthy if we can -- and it's always tough to change the ways we all got so used to doing.
Remember, it's hard doing it alone. You cannot prepare diet Filipino food for yourself while the rest of the family are pigging out.
It's a choice that everyone has to make.
And as always, moderation and balance are key.
Do you have any Diet Filipino Food Tips?