Eat Yourself Healthy
Dietary supplements and ‘superfoods’ have become big business in the world of food and nutrition. But, can balanced diet of wholefoods and unprocessed foods be the key to healthy living? Medical News Today suggests that ‘fruit and vegetables have a high vitamin, mineral and fibre content - these nutrients are vital for your body to function well’.
Several studies have proven that a good intake of fruit and vegetables may protect from developing heart disease, diabetes type 2, and cancer.1
The Definition of Eating Healthy
Eating Healthy is a focus on real, whole food. It is also a focus on minimising or avoiding processed foods altogether. Processed foods include all foods that come packaged such as crisps, cake, cookies, chocolate. The processed foods tend to be high in sugar, salt and trans fats. They contain very little nutrition or none at all.
Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
The following tips will give you a broad range of foods that can help you make healthier choices:
- The carbohydrates you choose should come from wholegrains, fruits and vegetables which are known as complex carbohydrates;
- The simple carbohydrates such as cakes and cookies and basic sugary foods should be limited or avoided;
- Choose from potatoes (with the skin on for increased nutrition), wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, brown rice.
Increase Fruit and Vegetable Intake:
- The recommendation is to eat a variety of 2-3 fruits per day;
- A variety of vegetables should be eaten at every meal, including the green leafy vegetables.
Increase your fish Intake
- The fish oils found in fish especially the cold water fish, are very important for overall health and wellbeing. They are important for brain and immune function;
- Aim to eat at least 2 servings of fish per week;
- The cold water fish include salmon, mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna.
- Fat is important for many bodily functions including supporting healthy skin and hair; helps transport vitamins around the body; important in brain function, provides protection for the nerve cells;
- Healthy fats include olive oil, coconut oil, butter, avocado, nuts and seeds.
Eat Less Sugar and Salt
- The American Heart Association has made the following recommendations about sugar limits:
- Children = Limit to 3-4 teaspoons per day;
- Adult women/teens= Limit to 5 teaspoons per day;
- Adult men/teens= Limit to 8-9 teaspoons per day;
- The current sugar intake trend is increasing. It is important for you to check labels before purchasing a product to check the sugar and salt content. Take into account all hidden sugars in drinks, packaged foods when calculating your daily sugar intake;
- When checking the labels for salt content a good tip to go by is that if there is more than 1.5g of salt per 100g, the food is high in salt. Children over 11 as well as adults should consume no more 6g salt a day. Younger children should consume even less.
Isao Muraki, Fumiaki Imamura, JoAnn E Manson, Frank B Hu, Walter C Willett, and Rob M van Dam. "Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies"
BMJ 2013; 347
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