Follow Pinggang Pinoy and the Ten Kumainments and enjoy a quality lifeCebu City - Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), stroke, diabetes and some specific cancers are now becoming the dominant causes of morbidity and mortality not only in the Philippines but also worldwide (WHO, 2002). In 2010, chronic diseases accounted for approximately 50% of deaths nationwide. More than half of these deaths are attributed to CVD. In addition, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases already affect a large portion of the population and are appearing earlier in life (WHO, 2011). These diseases are also the leading cause of disability among Filipinos and pose a great burden to the country. Factors that can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases are an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. A shift toward high fat diet, energy dense diet and sedentary lifestyle has been the trend in the country today.

Chronic diseases are preventable through diet and physical activity. So it is important to aim for color and variety in choosing your food. Follow Kumainment No 1 “Eat a variety of foods everyday” as no single food can provide all the nutrients needed by the body. Opt for whole grains as this has milder effect on blood sugar and insulin compared to white bread, white rice, and other refined grains. Fish, chicken, beans, and nuts are also healthy, versatile protein sources—they can be mixed into salads, and pair well with vegetables on a plate. Limit red meat. Avoid salty foods and processed meats such as bacon and sausage. Skip sugary drinks to reduce glucose in your blood or better yet, choose clean, clear water. Limit milk or dairy products to one serving per day. Use Pinggang Pinoy as your guide.

Pinggang Pinoy is a new, easy to understand food guide that uses a familiar food plate model to convey the right food group proportions on a per-meal basis to meet the body’s energy needs. This serves as a visual tool to help Filipinos adopt healthy eating habits at meal times by delivering effective dietary and healthy lifestyle messages. The 10 Kumainments or the 10 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos on the other hand are simple and easy to remember guidelines to promote healthy living among Filipinos.

Exercise affects your overall health especially the heart, lungs and circulation. This would also improve your physical endurance, prevent asthma attacks and aid in weight loss. Regular exercise can help lower the blood sugar level and boost energy. Important health benefits have even been associated with walking for half an hour per day, but greater reductions in risk are seen with longer duration of physical and more intense activity.

The good news is that you have the power to prevent chronic diseases, as making positive diet and lifestyle changes can help reduce risk. Eating healthy foods, getting enough exercise, and refraining from tobacco and excessive alcohol use give numerous health benefits. Follow the Ten Kumainments and Pinggang Pinoy. So start a healthy lifestyle and enjoy a quality life.// NDP/NO II Honey V. Anfone