For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/
“Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet
Do you think you eat a balanced diet or are you confused about what a balanced diet looks like?
I’m seeing more and more clients who seem lost and confused about what to eat and what not to eat
- Reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
- Reduce your chances of getting cancer
- Give you more energy
- Keep you well
- improve weight loss
- Improve your bowel health
- Your skin, nails and hair look healthier
The two key elements to a healthy balanced diet are:
- Eat the right amount of food for how active you are, and
- Eat a variety of foods – this is where the ‘balance’ comes in
The “Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet should include:
- Plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least 5 portions a day. Think ‘A rainbow of colour’. And if its convenient use fresh, frozen or tinned
- Fruit like grapefruit or melon eaten before a meal can help fill you up so you are less likely to overeat on higher calorie foods
- Small amounts of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods (choosing wholegrain varieties when possible)
- Some milk, dairy or plant-based alternative likes (soya, oat, nut etc). Aim for 3 servings a day.
- Sufficient protein such as tofu, Quorn, quinoa, nuts, beans, meat, fish, eggs. Aim to eat low fat protein at every main meal.
- Just a small amount of foods high in fat, sugar and salt
- Keep within the safe alcohol limits (14 units a week for men and women). Its also advised to have alcohol free days
- Drink plenty of water, about 6-8 glasses (or other fluids) every day: more if you exercise or if the weather is hot
- Green tea contains two compounds; caffeine and catechins, that may boost your metabolism for a couple of hours.
- Stay active – aim for 150 minutes of activity a week. this can include classes at a gym, running, weight training. But equally housework, gardening, walking and dancing can all count too
Some people make the mistake of thinking that because they are eating healthy food they can eat more of it. This can lead to weight gain in the same way that eating unhealthy foods can, because all foods have calories!
Follow this portion guide and you won’t go far wrong
- A healthy 75g serving of protein (tofu, Quorn, quinoa, nuts, beans, meat, fish, eggs) is the same size as the palm of your hand
- A medium potato is the same size as your computer mouse
- A serving of dairy is:
- 200ml of milk or plant based alternative – regardless of full-fat, semi-skimmed or skimmed.
- 30g hard cheese (including non dairy): around the same size as a matchbox
- 150g of plain or fruit yoghurt.
- A medium piece of fruit is the same size as your fist
- A serving of rice is half a teacup or 75g (uncooked), which weighs 125g when cooked
- A serving of pasta is 75g uncooked which weighs 170g when cooked al dente
- A serving of vegetables is about 80g or about 2 tablespoons
- A teaspoon of butter or margarine is the size of the tip of your thumb.
- A unit of alcohol is half a pint of standard strength (3 to 5% ABV) beer, lager or cider, or a single pub measure of spirit. A 175 ml glass of wine is about 2 units and alcopops are about 1.5 units. A bottle of white wine has up to 9 units and 650 calories
If your diet is in a bit of a tailspin, then why not contact me for some nutritional advice