Here is the first of a series of articles I’m writing for the Lincolnite around healthy eating:
Your Health: What makes a healthy diet?
The sayings “a little of what you fancy does you no harm” & “everything in moderation” actually rings true when talking about a healthy diet, because it means you eat a wide variety of foods and the more variety in your diet the more vitamins, minerals & nutrients you are giving your body to utilise.
Healthy eating isn’t impossible, you just need to know the basic principles of good nutrition and then you are set for life.
Yes, it does take a little bit of work because changing eating habits is one of the hardest things to do, as these are very much ingrained into our lives as we grow up from a child to an adult.
But the hard work is worth it when you start to feel the benefits of what a healthy eating regime can bring.
There are no fad diets described here! Just easy & simple hints and tips to help you make the right choices when it comes to eating a healthy diet, but it’s not about going “on a diet”; it’s about changing your lifestyle and making informed choices that will last you a lifetime.
If you make small changes to your diet each month you’ll find this the easiest way to change your eating habits for the better over a period of time.
One of the keys to healthy eating is eating regularly. Like a car engine our bodies need fuel (food) to work at its optimum capacity, if your car doesn’t have any fuel left, does it run? No, and that’s the same for our bodies, without regular meals your body has to somehow generate its own fuel from its stores or alert you (cravings for sweet foods) that you need to refuel.
It is recommended that you eat three small meals a day (Breakfast, lunch and evening meal) and two or three snacks (Mid-morning, mid-afternoon & evening/before bed) This keeps your body topped up with fuel throughout the day, so you are less likely to have energy lows or cravings for sweet foods)
For each of your main meals you should make sure they contain a range of food groups. The easiest way to do this is in percentage form of what your plate should look like:
40% Carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread)
30% Fruit & vegetables
20% Protein & healthy fats (Unsaturated fats)
10% Saturated fat, salt & refined sugars
Other principles to work towards:
Stay hydrated – the standard advice is around 2 litres of liquid a day but this is again dependent on how active you are and what stage of life you are at.
Watch out for added salt – the recommended daily intake of salt for adults is six grams, always taste your food before adding salt & check food labels for salt levels, you’ll be amazed how much salt is added to processed foods.
Try to have a meat free day once a week – there are many sources of protein (animal & vegetable). Vegetable protein tends to be lower in fat & contains a range of nutrients.
Keep an eye on your alcohol intake – Alcohol is often referred to as an anti-nutrient as it may strip the body of essential vitamins & minerals, it also means your liver has to work hard to process it.