In addition to exercising, having a healthy and well-balanced diet is equally key to staying fit. Eating right doesn’t only reduce your risk of diseases but it can also improve your exercise performance. Having the right mix of food in your diet -- from high fibre carbohydrates to lean protein -- can keep you full and energised without excessive weight gain.
However, persons with disabilities may have a bit more difficulty in managing their weight and diet. Those who are more sedentary will find it challenging to utilize as many calories as an able-bodied person typically would, while others might be on medication that could cause weight fluctuation as a side effect.
In order to maximise your meal’s nutritional value, careful planning of your diet is necessary – choose food that will fill you up without leading to too many extra pounds. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition listed dairy products, fruit, vegetables and whole grains as important components of a diet for people with disabilities.
Here are more insights to planning your diet:
Carbohydrates are a great source of energy for both your brain and muscles. Choose high fibre complex carbohydrates, which leads to slow release of sugar as they are broken down and helps you feel fuller over a longer period. Some examples of food with complex carbohydrates include porridge, multigrain bread sandwiches and pasta.
Fruits and vegetables
These help in lowering blood pressure, and minimise the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and digestive disorders. For starters, aim for a variety of colour in your fruits and vegetables intake, and take in five portions daily.
Have two to three servings of lean protein everyday, as these are important for muscle growth and repair, especially after a strenuous workout session. They also help in curbing your appetite.
Despite contrary belief, fat is an essential part of our diet, as it is important for hormone production and injury prevention. It is also used as a source of fuel, especially during endurance exercises.
Nevertheless, high fat food such as cake, fried food, and crisps should be avoided. Instead, opt for low fat products and “good” fat like avocados, extra virgin olive oil and food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and nuts.