Last updated 1 August 2016

Eating Healthy While You are Abroad

Eating healthy abroad• Don’t Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t leave home without it.  Fresh fruit in yogurt or added to a big bowl of cereal and milk, whole wheat toast and egg whites washed down with a tall glass of fruit juice are ideal for a quick and power packed start to your day. Brunch is a good way to fill up if you have a really busy day ahead.  You can always make time for a small evening snack later.

• Salt and Sugar Intake

Salt in itself is not bad, but stear away from over consumption.  Buy sea salt with a reddish or brownish tint, without chemicals, additives, coloring and bleach. 

Eating sweets in moderation is ideal.  You can switch to home made sweets and opt for natural sweeteners like fresh fruit juices and syrups or strawberries, apples and sweet potatoes, all of which are easy to find in most countries.

• Healthy Alternatives
Nuts, beans and soy products are good sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals and proteins.  A few almonds, walnuts and pecans with breakfast, black beans and lentils for lunch with soy milk and tofu are ideal for vegetarians.

• Fruits and Vegetables
Eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables everyday…your source of low calorie intake.  Packed with antioxidants and nutrients they help prevent cancer and other lifestyle diseases. Brighter and deeper color fruits and vegetables are richer in nutrients.  Buy them fresh or frozen from your local market.

• Fresh Juice
Reaching out for bottled fruit juice may seem like a convenient option, but it’s certainly not a healthy one.  Invest in a juicer and squeeze some fresh fruit and vegetable juice to add years to your life.

• Soups and Broths
Clear vegetable soups in summer and delicious broth with vegetables and meat stock are an ideal way to begin your meals.  A bowl of soup or broth fills you up and you end up eating less and light.

• Greens
Dark greens like broccoli, Chinese cabbage, mustard greens and kale are some adventurous options that will help you strengthen your respiratory system while supplying you with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K.

• Green Tea
A cup of green tea instead of tea or coffee every evening is a refreshing and healthy drink.

• Wholesome and Low Fat Foods
Go for whole wheat bread and bakery products or brown rice.  A rich source of calcium, enjoy your dairy products but opt for low fat dairy products.

• Explore Local Food
Local cuisines incorporate food products that are suited to the climatic conditions prevalent there while making optimum use of the locally available produce; observe and use them accordingly. 

• Healthy Cooking
Cook healthy by grilling or baking food instead of deep frying it; simply log on to the internet or pick up a recipe book to find healthy cooking alternatives for traditional and contemporary food and keep off saturated fats and red meat.

• Don’t Skip Meals
Eat regularly and on time.  No matter how busy you are don’t skip meals.  Pack a quick bite…a brown bread sandwich or burger with a bottle of fresh fruit juice for a busy day in the office.

After all these healthy eating tips, here are some things you should avoid:

• Street Food
Each country has its own set of famous street foods which are best avoided from a health perspective.  You should never compromise on hygiene and quality in food and you certainly don’t want to attract any tummy trouble.

• Alcohol and Caffeine

The many cups of tea and coffee at meetings could seem like refreshing reprieve, but they are also your source of a surfeit of caffeine.  So enjoy a cup or two if you must, but keep away from one too many.  The damaging effects of too much alcohol are well chronicled so it helps if you keep your consumption down.

A family meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner is a great way to bond and share the goodness of a home cooked meal.  So make time for at least one meal with your family everyday. 

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