Do you know how to shop for a healthy lifestyle?

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Globally, Qatar is ranked the sixth in obesity prevalence. With 70 percent of Qatari children leading unhealthy lives, and half of them suffering from being over or under weight, according to a survey from 2009 Hamad Medical Corporation and The World Health Organization (WHO), there is a pivotal call for change. In adults around 70 percent of men and women are obese.

Overweight parents often promote the unhealthy lifestyle, causing the next generation to be overweight and the cycle continues. There are serious consequences to being obese, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer, that endanger the lives of the population, but are also expensive in treating these, thus having an effect on the economy.

There have been many initiatives in the recent years to decrease obesity such as the ‘Your Health First’ campaign led by WCMC-Q and SCH, and World Innovative Summit for Health (WISH) in which WHO has planned to avoid a further increase of obesity and diabetes by 2025. While this is another 10 years from now, WE need to take charge as well!

How can we lead healthier lifestyles, and promote it for others? Making small steps is the answer. Our modern society encourages us to over-eat rich foods and junk food, and to get insufficient exercise. So how can we adjust our eating habits?

VLCC shows you how. VLCC has organized walks for small groups 3 times a month all over Doha in supermarkets to show you what you should eat, what you shouldn’t eat and how to check if products are actually healthy. The ILoveQatar Team has tested this walk for you.

 

As it turns out, it is easier than we thought to eat healthy. While fats, starches, carbs and sugars are usually to avoid, you don’t have to cut them out of your diet, but eat the right amounts, and know how to select the healthy ones. When you start thinking about a healthy diet, first have a look at the food pyramid.

We started with grains, as it’s at the bottom of the pyramid and we need lots of it. We were told how to check for the calories, and select the lowest amount for bread, pasta and rice and that whole grain is the way to go when grocery shopping!

With detailed explanations in each section; juice, vegetables, protein, dairy products, oils, sugars, and meat and fish, you get a very good idea of what to avoid, how to select, and what to take home. For example, did you know that low fat milk is mostly recommended? When the fats are removed from the milk, some nutrients are lost, however with the fresh milk you can get in the supermarket, such nutrients are added again to give you all you need.

Extra virgin or virgin olive oil, is the best oil for you to use, vegetables and fruit should be fresh or frozen, if fresh is not available, and you should have one serving of protein each day! Things you may not know or maybe already do know, are explained in great detail, and when you have questions, you can easily ask a question, because VLCC organizes small groups for everyone to get a chance to find out everything they want to.

While there are obvious factors for a healthy diet, the unobvious factors are often overlooked and when you think you’re eating well, you could be eating the wrong things. It is more important to learn about doing grocery shopping right, than it may seem. With the right ingredients at hand, you can cook what you usually would, and become and stay healthy without having to make drastic changes. It isn’t healthy starving yourself or cutting out important parts of the food pyramid. Being healthy is knowing how to eat and how to select the best food from every part of the food pyramid for a healthy diet.

If you feel like this is something you want to try and/or have a look at other events promoting a healthy lifestyle organized by VLCC, visit their website under http://www.vlccwellness.com/Qatar/en/

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