The 2019 World Food day theme has urged families across the world to be careful on how they handle food and maintain a healthy died to achieve zero hunger.
According to UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), most families have shifted away from eating a healthy diet to diets that are high in refined starches, sugar, fats, salt, processed foods, meat and other animal-source products from supermarkets and restaurants.
Due to limited time spent at home, most families have resorted to this food, which are not plant-based and fiber-rich, avoiding self-preparation of meals at home.
This year’s theme is specific at two things, healthy diet and hunger, but how can we achieve this.
FAO delimits that a healthy diet is one that meets the nutritional needs of individuals by providing sufficient, safe, nutritious and diverse foods to lead an active life and reduce the risk of disease.
They further enumerate fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains, and foods that are low in fats (especially saturated fats), sugar and salt, as the best healthy diets one lead.
They warn that leading an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for deaths from non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and certain cancers, which has been linked to a fifth of death worldwide.
Obesity and other forms of malnutrition, which result from unhealthy diet, affect nearly one in three people.
Over 670 million adults and 120 million girls and boys (aged between 5-19 years) are obese, and over 40 million children under 5 years are overweight, while over 820 million people suffer from hunger.
Healthy diet provisions have been compromised by a number of issues including climate change and human influence, killing the diversity of crucial crops.
Today only nine plant species account for 66% of total crop production despite the fact that throughout history, more than 6000 species have been cultivated for food.
Zero rating hunger
FAO recommends dietary guidelines that can help in leading a healthy diet and zero rate hunger, which will ensure you get enough nutrients to fight chronic disease.
News 9 Kenya managed to dash through some of the guidelines, which can help in achieving a healthy died and Zero hunger, and highlights them as follows;
Vegetables, Fruits, nuts and legumes
These are the kind of food we can all achieve and enjoy to have in our meals. Eating plenty of fresh, ripe and seasonal vegetables, fruits daily and adding more legumes, nuts and whole grains to your diet is a booster to achieving a healthy diet. Legumes and nuts provide plant-based protein.
Avoid take-away food from restaurants and supermarkets, industrially processed foods and drinks high in saturated fats, sugar, and/or salt, and try not to eat excessive amounts of meat and other animal-sourced products.
Eat brown food
Alternate from eating ‘white’ refined foods for their brown and much more nutritious equivalents (brown rice, wholemeal flour and bread, porridge), which can be more nutritious.
Avoid Saturated fats
These can be found in industrially-produced food products like fatty meat and butter. Maintain using unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, and in sunflower, soybean, canola and olive oils.
To achieve a healthy died and zero rate on hunger, consider the environmental impact of the foods we eat, including those that require more natural resources such as water to produce them. Try also to avoid buying foods that has excessive amounts of packaging.
FAO instructs that storing your food properly can help to keep it fresh, safe and save precious nutrients. Use air-tight containers to keep food fresh in the fridge and close packets to prevent them from spoiling.
According to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, hunger rise in the world has been culminated by high wastage of food resulting from poor storage.
"It is unacceptable that hunger is on the rise at a time when the world wastes more than 1 billion tonnes of food every year. It is time to change how we produce and consume," said SG Gutterres during the celebrations at the UN office, Geneva.