Eating "healthy" seems difficult for many of us Pinoys. We've heard about how brown rice is the healthier option over white rice, but let's face it: Brown rice is much more expensive than white rice (plus brown rice doesn't really taste as good). The same goes for quinoa, a grain crop that some people eat in place of rice, but is rich in protein—it's really expensive! The thing is, diet industries tell you that carbs are bad, that white rice is fattening. What they forget to tell you is that white rice is only fattening if you don't burn the energy it produces. And can we Pinoys really avoid eating rice, when most of our ulam has a lot of sauce and strong flavors? Hardly. (And let's not get so into the whole "You're healthy if you're thin" belief. That's not the sign of a healthy body; this is.)
So, how can we Pinoys eat healthy? First, let's remember that eating healthy is essentially getting a balanced meal—one that gives us all the nutrients we need, and at a good amount, according to Jovina Sandoval RND of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology. And those nutrients are carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
The FNRI-DOST, in collaboration with the Department of Health and the World Health Organization, recently developed the "Pinggang Pinoy." It's the food guide for every Filipino since it shows the proper balance of the nutrients the body needs.
Basically a quarter of the plate should be for food rich in protein (meat), another quarter for food rich in carbs (rice), and a half for food rich in vitamins and minerals (fruits and vegetables). Don't forget to drink water, too!
Remember that you shouldn't be eating only one kind of food, since no food has all the nutrients your body needs for energy, the repair of muscles and tissues, and the maintenance of its functions. Sure, avoiding a food group entirely (like carbs) might help you lose weight now, but in the long run your body will most likely develop complications.
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.