Tips for Staying Healthy When Eating Alone

      December 30, 2015 08:29

      People who live alone tend to buy foods that are simple to cook and eat as it is often uneconomical to buy ingredients for one person and deal with leftovers.

      According to figures from Statistics Korea earlier this month, one-person households presently account for 27.1 percent of the total. This means some 30 percent of people in Korea eat meals alone.

      "Those who eat alone hardly consider balanced nutrition and tend to eat so quickly that the body does not have enough time to digest and absorb nutrients properly," said Kim Jin-ri, a family physician. "This may lead to malnutrition and deteriorating health."

      Here are a few tips to stay healthy when eating alone.

      ◆ Allow Enough Time to Eat

      Do not rush to finish a meal. When the stomach is full, the brain sends out a signal to stop eating. But eating too quickly doesn't allow enough time to send out the signal, often resulting in overeating.

      This in turn can put pressure on the digestive organs and lead to reflux esophagitis.

      It is best to have plenty of time to enjoy a meal slowly. Refrain from watching TV or playing with a smartphone as well because it can cause one to eat fast unconsciously.

      ◆ Ensure Balanced Diet

      It is important to make sure to take in balanced nutrients including essential carbohydrates and protein even when eating alone. Relying heavily on ready-made or fast foods can lead to malnutrition.

      If it is difficult to get fresh and nutritious ingredients and cook from scratch, try to choose freshly cooked food rather than instant or canned food.

      "Don't forget to eat healthy seasonal fruits as snacks to supplement nutrients," Dr. Kim suggests.

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