2.6 million is a huge number, isn’t it? But what if this number imposes a major threat to your health?
Every year, 2.6 million children die because of malnutrition, that is a 45% ratio.
1.9 billion “not million, billion!” adults are either overweight or obese, while 462 million are underweight, as per the World Health Organization.
Malnutrition opts for one-third of children’s death globally and is the number one health concern worldwide.
2 billion people are iodine deficient. 1 in every 6 pregnant women is vitamin A deficient.
17.3% of the world’s population is at risk of zinc deficiency, and hence are prone to immunity and nervous system problems.
But what is malnutrition in the first place?!
Malnutrition is an inadequacy is a person’s nutrients intake, whether excesses, imbalances or deficiencies.
It does not only impact our shape, but it also has a devastating impact on our health; our focus, energy, vitality, mental health, psychological well-being, and quality of life.
Although, malnutrition is a major world concern, yet, saving the world is still within our control.
It starts with our nutritional choices every day.
Although a big mac, ice cold soda, sizzling Chinese plate, super large French fries or mouth melting shawarma is always irresistible, yet, the long-term impact of such irresistible dishes is something known almost to anyone who is health conscious.
But are these health stealing dishes the only mean to malnutrition?!
Is malnutrition only a result of unhealthy food choices?
Indeed, feeling guilty is common after eating calorie stealing dishes, yet junk food, processed food, sugar, salt or flour are not the only villains.
There are other hiding malnutrition threats laying in every meal.
So, we need to keep a close eye on what we eat, even when we think it is healthy.
Thinking of Eating These Combinations, Think Twice!
1- Proteins and Carbohydrates
Although a cheese sandwich and milk sounds like a very healthy breakfast option, yet, it really is not that healthy.
Carbs prevent proteins from being properly digested, because protein needs a lot of stomach acids to be digested and so does carbs, so eating both together does slow down digestion and upsets our stomach.
Not only that but surprisingly it could also upset our sinus and causes allergy.
It is not only milk and bread, its milk and banana, meat and bread, and even meat and potatoes.
Mixing carbohydrates and protein together in a meal shouldn’t be your first choice.
And yes, we have probably been eating most of our meals wrong.
2- Salt and Fresh Vegetables
If you have finally succeeded in talking yourself into salads, and eventually became a big fan, then you need to watch out for this deadly sin.
As a salad lover, having a salad every day means innovating in its ingredients and presentation.
That is why salad lovers throw in some effort to make their salads tasty.
And, nothing is better than salad dressings to do the trick.
Salt, of course, comes as a game changer in any dressing.
Unfortunately, salt dries out the vegetables leaves stealing away its valuable nutrients.
So, if you are genuinely interested in taking benefit of your salad plate, then next time you think of seasoning your salad, leave salt aside.
3- Iron and Caffeine
Although healthy snacks like banana and coffee or apple and coffee sounds very appealing, yet its implication is not as appealing.
Drinking coffee or tea after meals is a widespread tradition in many cultures, however, a study performed on human subjects showed that consuming caffeine during a meal up to an hour later, reduced iron absorption heavily.
Iron absorption was observed to reduce between 39% to 64% depending on the type of caffeine.
Iron absorption seemed to also be affected by the strength and intake of caffeine, reducing its absorption from 5.88% to 0.53% in some cases.
However, consuming caffeine an hour before a meal did not have any implications for iron absorption.
So, next time you feel like a cup of coffee make sure you drink it at least an hour before your meal or sometime after it.
4- Two Rich Protein Nutrients
Eggs and bacon, eggs and cheddar cheese, almonds, oats and milk, or turkey and cheese sound like a very tasty combination, don’t they?
Yet, in your stomach, they are big rivals.
Proteins take a long time to digest.
So, if you are keen to benefit from what you eat, then take care that two rich protein nutrients would stress your stomach because of the time and effort needed to fully absorb and digest them.
As it usually takes an hour to digest 10 grams of consumed protein.
And a meal of two rich protein nutrients is around 30 grams, which is almost a 3 hour long wait at customer service, but only in your stomach.
So, whenever you get the urge of eggs, cheese and bacon remember that you will be giving your stomach a heavy duty.
5- Cereals with Milk and Orange Juice
This too! A perfect healthy breakfast that is not perfect at all.
Orange juice is acidic and so is milk.
Milk contains lactic acid and its pH level is around 6.7, so it is mostly acidic.
Combining two acids together upsets our stomach as well as harms the enzyme found in cereals.
The best way, however, to eat this meal is by drinking the orange juice before or after your meal; keeping your stomach happier.
6- Fruits after Meals
Fruits are known to be a good source of simple sugar.
However, as healthy as it may sound, this also comes with an important watch out as simple sugar does not stay long in our stomach.
That is why, according to some health experts, eating fruits after meals is not a good idea.
As meals take time to get absorbed completely while fruits don’t need all that time, so eventually this long stay in the stomach will make fruits ferment.
And fruit fermentation may upset your stomach.
7- Energy-Rich, Empty-Calorie Food
Unfortunately, most of our mood boosters and happy hour snacks fall under this category.
Who doesn’t need a chocolate after a bad day, or a fizzy drink after a heavy meal?
Who doesn’t think of pizza every time getting hungry, or feel like a hot dog when you pass by a hot dog shop?
Who doesn’t love ice cream and use it as a treat that works like magic every time?
Yet it is not only chocolate, drinks, pizza, hot dog or ice cream that is on the list.
The list of mood boosters yet, empty-calorie food is endless.
Because of modern life stresses and high demand on work productivity, many of us survive on intakes of caffeine and sugar to stay active and awake all day long.
Although these intakes are empty-calorie food, they seem to be giving us a false feeling of fullness.
The major downside to energy-rich empty calorie food is malnutrition.
It is because of daily routines of such intakes that anemia, and vitamin deficiencies knock our doors.
Life is so unfair, but we could be equally unfair to our bodies as well.
Don’t Feel Stuck still, just like combinations that don’t go along very well, there are the good ones too.
Don’t worry, they are healthy and delicious as well.
Iron and Vitamin C
Iron especially coming from leaves and vegetables is not easily absorbed and would require some help.
This is when vitamin C comes to the rescue.
Spinach and tomato sauce, stake and lemon sauce, strawberries and bananas, meat and sweet potatoes and the list is endless.
Just find the combination that suits your taste and eat it guilt free
Healthy Fats and Carbohydrates
Pasta with olive oil, avocado toast, or garlic bread with olive oil, or simply any carbs with olive oil could work.
Healthy fats slow the breaking down of carbs and hence its conversion to sugar.
Salads with Healthy Fats
Yes, you need to remove salt, but you can add the healthy fats instead.
This includes olive oil, cheese, avocado, and nuts.
Just think of the different salad combination you can have with these healthy fats and enjoy your healthy meal.
It Is Surely Worth It
In the end, though, good nutrition requires awareness, decision and some good knowledge of the do and don’ts.
A healthy meal would need a little bit more effort than a normal “on the go” junk food, yet the return on investment is always tempting to try, because on the other hand, the consequences of malnutrition are frustrating.
Although it might not be observed on the spot, yet, one thing to be sure of is that your body will fail you when you need it the most because of malnutrition.
So, next time you are thinking of what to have for lunch exclude all the unhealthy choices and be good for your health and your body.