There is good evidence to support that eating a well balanced diet can considerably decrease your risk of a variety of diseases including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and even some types of cancer.
It is important to eat the right proportion of foods from the major groups to ensure your body has all the right ingredients it needs to work efficiently and stay healthy. But ‘what are the right amounts’ u ask?
To make healthy eating easier, we recommend the ‘Eatwell’ guide and have included some tips and guidance to help you get on track.
National guidelines recommend the following amounts per day for each food group:
Starchy Foods 38% 2 Wheat biscuits or 50g Museli, 2 Slices medium sliced bread,
1 Medium Jacket Potato or 5 boiled new potatoes,
5 Tablespoons of cooked rice, couscous, bulgar wheat or quinoa, 75g Dry spaghetti
Starchy foods contain carbohydrates, which release energy throughout the day. They are a major energy source so it ideal to include them with every meal. They will help you feel fuller for longer making you less likely to snack throughout the day.
Choose wholegrain or wholemeal and brown rice where possible, as these are higher in fibre.
Fruit and Veg 40% 1 Apple, banana, pear or orange, half an avocado or grapefruit, 2 kiwi fruits or a similar size fruit, 1 slice of melon or pineapple or similar size fruit, 3 heaped tablespoons of fruit salad or stewed fruit, 1 heaped tablespoon of dried fruit, 150ml glass of fruit juice or smoothie, a cup of grapes, cherries or berries,
3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables, a dessert bowl of salad.
Eat at lease 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. One portion is 80g; see the example list above. Your 5 portions do not all have to be fresh- dried, froze, tinned and juiced fruit and vegetables count too.
Dairy and Alternatives 8% 150g pot yoghurt, 30g cheese, 200ml Milk
Milk and dairy products are important sources of protein, calcium and vitamins. Eating moderate amount(2 to 3 portions) s of these will provide you with all the calcium you need. For those lactose intolerant look out for fortified foods such as yeast extract, calcium enriched soya milk, yogurts and desserts, breakfast cereals and calcium enriched rice and oat drinks.
Non Dairy Protein sources 12% Meat, Fish, Beans, Nuts
Meat, fish, beans, nuts and pulses are all important non-dairy sources of protein. Proteins not only give you energy, they are essential to aid the body in growth and repair tissue in your body. Aim to eat 2 portions of fish a week - making sure one of these portions is an oily fish such as mackerel, salmon or pilchards as they are rich in long-chain, omega 3 fatty acids; which may help prevent heart disease. It is important to limit the amount of processes meat eaten (sausages and burgers) as these often contain lots of fat and salt. If your vegetarian or vegan, make sure you eat plenty of beans, nuts and pulses to get the protein you need. Nuts and seeds contain healthy poly-unsaturated and monounsaturated fats as well as protein. Peanuts, almonds and cashews are particularly good protein sources but, be careful as they are also high in calories; a small handful is all you need.
Fats and sugar 1% Saturated Fats - Fatty cuts of meat, processed meats such as sausage and bacon, butter, cheese, cream, crisps, chocolate, biscuits, cakes and pastries, palm oil, coconut oil
Unsaturated Fats - Oily fish (omega 3 fats), Vegetable oils such as rapeseed, corn, sunflower oil and nuts such as walnuts (omega 6 fats)
Mono-Unsaturated Fats - Olive oil, rapeseed oil, avacados and nuts such as almonds, brazils and peanuts
Sugar - Sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolates, fizzy drinks, fruit juices and alcoholic drinks
Fats are a really concentrated form of energy as well as helping transport vitamins around the body. They are an important part of your diet - but only a small amount and the type of fat you eat is also really important.
Saturated fats can raise ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Women should have no more than 20g per day and 30g a day for men.
Unsaturated fats can help to lower your levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Mono-unsaturated fats can help maintain the levels of ’good’ cholesterol whilst reducing the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol
Women should have 50g of unsaturated fats a day and 65g a day for men.
It is important to replace foods that are high in saturated fats, such as butter, pastries and cheese with foods that are rich in unsaturated fats found in oils such as, olive oil and rapeseed oil.
As with fats, most of us are eating too much sugar. Its added to most of the tasty tempting foods we like such as cakes, biscuits, chocolates, fizzy drinks and fruit juices, as well as most alcoholic drinks; these are known as free sugars. Eating large amounts of these can make you gain weight. It is recommended that you do not eat more than 30g of free sugars a day - approximately 7 sugar cubes.
Foods such as fresh fruit, peas, sweetcorn and milk all contain natural sugars, these also contain other nutrients such as fibre and vitamins making these products more suitable for you than with products containing added sugar.
Fibre 1% Insoluble - in high-fibre breakfast cereals, wholemeal bread, pasta and brown rice, and vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Soluble - grains such as oats, barley and rye, fruits such as pears and plums, beans and pulses such as lentils and chickpeas, and root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes.
It is also important that we eat fibre as part of a healthy diet; there are 2 types - insoluble and soluble.
Insoluble fibre goes through your digestive system and bulks up your faeces so it can move through your digestive tract quicker. This aids in the prevention of bowel problems such as constipation and diverticular disease.
Soluble fibre is found in your large bowel and is broken down by bacteria. It can help control cholesterol levels; which then reduces the risk of heart disease. Sources of soluble fibre can be found in grains such as oats, barley and rye, fruits such as pears and plums, beans and pulses such as lentils and chickpeas, and root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes.
If you require any further 'healthy eating' advice or nutrition plans please
contact us, we will be happy to recommend one of our personal trainer to suit your needs.