Bahamian Eating Habits:
Presented By: Italia Douglas
Student Number: 000-04-8030
Course: Nutrition 100-4
Date: Wednesday 17th, October 2012.
Table of Contents
2. Healthy Eating Habits
3. Unhealthy Eating Habits
“Conch salads, conch fritters, oh so many things to eat. Crack conch and scorch conch all adds up to a Bahamian treat,” according to Shamara Curry (2009).
The Bahamian culture is filled with customs and heritage. It’s rich and diverse displayed by the way we dress, our music, along with the island-flavored foods that we eat. Delicacies such as conch salad, crack lobster, conch fritters and guava duff are local and international favorites. As Bahamians, some of us live a healthy lifestyle and some of us do not. This can be seen with reference to our eating habits. These patterns are developed over time from the diets that we maintain. A diet is the kind of food that a person habitually eats (Webster’s Dictionary, 2002). Some foods may be good and provide us with nutritional value, while others may have little or no nutritional content. We all need to eat in order for growth and maintenance of the body. Our diets determine our lifestyle whether it’s healthy or unhealthy. The foods that make up our daily diet are broken down into portions. A portion is the amount of food chosen to eat for a meal or snack (Webster’s Dictionary, 2002). Derived from these portions are servings which are an exact measure of food for a meal or snack, i.e. slice of bread or a cup of water. Moreover, the way we also prepare our meals contribute to the habits that we develop. Many may prefer foods that are baked, grilled or broiled (healthy choices) or deep fried (unhealthy choice). How we also consume these meals and when we do can also play a role into our eating habits. Next to this, cultural influences such as homecomings, regattas as well as ‘fish fries’ can affect our lifestyle as well.
Healthy Eating Habits
A healthy diet is one that is balanced and composed of foods from each of the food groups. In the Bahamas, a Cultural Food Drum has been developed to denote our local food groups and the key nutrients that should be factored into our diets. There are 7 different categories; cereals and starchy vegetables, vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy, beans and peas, fats, and sugars and sweeteners. Along with these items from the aforementioned, we must follow dietary guidelines to maintain our healthy eating habits. Limiting the amount of greasy foods that we eat and including starchy vegetables, peas and beans into our diets are examples of local dietary guidelines. Next to this, a good diet can also be seen with how much and when we eat, the way our foods our prepared along with traditions that influence diets.
Firstly, Bahamians with healthy eating habits make the conscious decision to have this lifestyle. Many follow suit of their forefathers (mainly on the family islands) or they eat with regards to their health conditions or to avoid any. It has been said by many that our forefathers ate from the ground, hence the reason they sustained long and healthy lives. They consumed large amounts of fruits and vegetables. They drank lots of water and rested sufficiently. Next to this, healthy eating is done with moderation. Foods are consumed in smaller portions to satisfy hunger. When there is a craving for a snack, they have a fruit or nuts. These snacks satisfy hunger and at the same time it does not cause any excessive weight gain. Portion sizes are controlled with the number of servings at the time of consumption. For example, one may have a bowl of local boiled fish along with two slices of homemade bread and a glass of water for breakfast. This can be viewed as a healthy choice not only because of its contents...
References: Curry, Shamara. (2009). I am Proud to Be a Bahamian Poem.
Dold and Foster. (2007. The Rough Guide to The Bahamas. (page 32).
Maura, Matt. (2011). Ministry of Health to unleash major campaign against obesity in 2011.
Bahamas Information Services Updates. Retrieved from: http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publish/bis-news-updates/Ministry_of_Health_to_unleash_major_campaign_against_obesity_in_201113882.shtml.
Webster, C (Ed.). (2002). Webster’s Dictionary (4th Edition, volumes 1-4). Chicago: Webster
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