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Water and Health

Eat right, drink right is the secret to a healthier life.

Every day, your body needs water to rejuvenate and stay hydrated.
The water you drink is the core essence of life so it’s always important to drink pure.

7.05.2015 | Water and health

A Guide to eating healthy

A Guide to eating healthy

All of us need to eat – perhaps 3 times a day (or for others, even more!). But while food is important for health and nutrition, it can also be a haven for microorganisms to grow and thrive! Now, some of these microorganisms are useful – e.g. yeast help to make bread, certain bacteria help to make curd. Some microorganisms can lead to sickness when consumed. 

The World Health Organization has recommended “keys to safer food” i.e. some simple principles or habits to keep food safe and prevent, as far as possible, diseases that are “foodborne” (that spread via food that’s eaten).

1.  Begin correctly. When it comes to safe food, it’s important to select the right ingredients right at the start. This would include not only the vegetables and meats you need, but also the water and ice that you use. Here are some simple tips to do this:

  • Make sure the water you use is safe to drink (for e.g. filtered or washed)
  • Wash vegetables and fruits well before use – avoid using food that are rotten or spoiled and throw away canned food that seem swollen or oxidized
  • Don’t use food once it has crossed its expiry date

2.  Cleanliness is important. Keeping your hands and kitchen area clean is an important way to keep food safe to eat. Here are some ways to do this:  

  • Wash your hands after you use the toilet
  • Wash your hands before, and while cooking and handling food
  • Make sure the area where food is cleaned and cooked is kept clean
  • Keep away pests and insects from the kitchen

The correct way to wash your hands is as follows: wet your hands under running water. Add soap and rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds – pay attention to your fingernails, finger tips, thumbs, wrists and the skin between the fingers. Then dry your hands with a clean dry towel, or paper towel.

3.  Separate the raw from the clean. Raw foods – particularly meats and seafood – often have microorganisms; if you don’t keep this away from cooked food, then potentially harmful organisms can get transferred from the raw to the clean food. And this could happen even if you’ve taken utmost care of cooking the food correctly. Here’s how you can do this:

  • Keep the seafood and meats separate from the other food
  • In the refrigerator, try to keep raw foods below the ready-to-eat and cooked foods
  • If possible, use a different knife and cutting board to handle meats from the one you use to cut raw vegetables (that may be consumed directly)
  • If you marinate meats, don’t pour the marinating liquid over the meat after it is cooked
  • Once food is cooked, transfer it to a container with a lid

4.  Cook it thoroughly. When you cook food correctly and at a high temperature, the heat will kill most of the organisms that can cause diseases. A temperature of about 70°C is usually sufficiently high. Here are some practical ways to do this:

  • Make sure that non vegetarian food is cooked thoroughly
  • As far as possible, cook meat till it is “well done” i.e. the inside of the meat is no longer pink and the juices are clear
  • If you’re making soups or stews, wait for it to boil and then allow it boil for at least a minute – this way, you’re sure that the temperature has crossed 70°C
  • If available, use a kitchen thermometer while cooking
  • If you are reheating the food before eating, make sure it’s heated thoroughly
  • If you use the microwave, ensure that the vessel you’re using is microwave-safe
  • Sometimes when microwaves are used to heat the food, the food is heated unevenly (i.e. all the food is not at the same temperature). Reheat or keep it for a longer time so that there are no ‘cold spots” in the food

5.  Store it correctly. Once food is cooked, it’s important to store it well since microorganisms can grow quickly between 5°C and 60°C. Here are some helpful tips:

  • After cooking the food, don’t keep it outside for more than 2 hours
  • Store food and leftovers in the fridge
  • It’s usually recommended that leftover food is not stored for more than 3 days and even then, avoid reheating it more than once
  • Serve food piping hot
  • Thaw frozen food in the fridge, not at room temperature
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