HEALTHY EATING TIPS
1. START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT!
Eat breakfast! Consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day. It kick starts your metabolism and is essential in fueling the brain, improves concentration and will help give you the right start to your day. Variety is the key – try the following:
1) Variety of fruit with yoghurt
2) Porridge, muesli with light soy or skim milk
3) Eggs with tomato or mushrooms, avocado, ricotta…
4) Fruit smoothie with protein powder & light soy milk
5) Smoked salmon and whole grain toast
6) Peanut butter on weetbix with honey…
2. EAT A VARIETY OF FOODS
Our body requires over 40 nutrients for good health. No one food or food group can provide you with all the nutrients, so have a variety of food to ensure that you are getting what your body needs. Use the Healthy Diet Pyramid as a guide for what to eat and how much of each type of food.
3. EAT MORE FRUITS & VEGETABLES
The next time you go grocery shopping, make sure you stock up on fruits & vegetables – organic and fresh is best. Keep bowls of fruit on the kitchen table or counter, and reach for a piece between or after meals. Stir fried veggies and veggie bakes are easy and nutritious – use meat as a condiment….
4. EAT LESS FAT & FOODS HIGH IN FAT What can we say about fried foods? They taste great, but are not great for you. They are so high in fat. Here is a few suggestions that will save your heart & waist line.
Deep-fry less often. Try grilling/barbequing, baking, steaming or boiling your foods more often. Use oils sparingly at the end of the cooking (oil denatures when heated and stacks on the calories). Choose olive oil which is high in monounsaturated fats over canola, butter, transfats and limit or eradicate fast foods. Many of them are high in fat, sugar and salt. Use low-fat dairy products occasionally, such as lite milk, reduced fat cheese, low-fat yogurt, or light ice cream. You still get the nutrients and taste but half the fat, but do read what is in these. Some have so many “numbers” (preservatives) and hidden sugars and salt, that sometimes full fat versions in small quantities, can be better for you.
If you like to eat meat, you can help reduce fat by choosing the leanest cuts. If you are preparing it at home, trim all visible fat and drain the grease that cooks out of the meat. Also take the skin off chicken and substitute meat with bean curd, lentils and pulses and grains (unless your paleo), a couple of times each week. Eat more fish (at least once a week) CALCIUM & IRON are extremely important for young girls, women & athletes – keep the intake high.
5. WATCH THOSE SNACKS & USE MORE HERBS
Why do we eat snacks? They taste great, they’re easy, and they satisfy our sweet and salt cravings. However, some snack foods are high in fat & salt. Herbs have vitamin and therapeutic effects plus provide flavor.
6. EAT EVERYTHING IN MODERATION.
There is no “good” or “bad” food. Too much of any food is bad; if you only eat vegetables and nothing else, that would be a problem too. And just because something is fat free or low fat does not mean you can eat as much as you want. Many low-fat or nonfat foods are also high in calories. Eat everything in moderation. Reduce, don’t eliminate foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt. Alcohol is food! Limit it as it converts to fat in the body and reduce stimulants (coffee)
7. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY BODY WEIGHT AND FEEL GOOD
Being overweight increases your risk for a wide range of diseases including heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Excess body fat results when you eat more calories than you are using up. If you are very active, you can eat more. However, if your lifestyle is sedentary, you need to: cut back on the amount of food eaten; choose lower calorie items; and increase your activity.
Calories come from all food – protein, fat, carbohydrate or alcohol – but fat have the most calories, followed by alcohol, then protein and carbohydrate.
To maintain weight, cut back on calories and be more active (eat less & move more!)
8. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS
Adults need to drink at least 1.5 litres or 6 cups of fluid a day! You need more if it is very hot or you are physically active. Plain tap water is obviously a good source of fluid but variety can be both pleasant and healthy. Choose also from unsweetened juices, kombucha (pure is better), lightly sweetened drinks, tea, bone broths, milk, etc. Coffee is not a good source of fluid as it acts as a diuretic (draws water from your body) and leaches calcium and vitamin C!
9. GET ON THE MOVE
Too many calories and not enough activity can result in weight gain. Moderate physical activity helps burn off those extra calories. It is also good for the heart and circulatory system and for general health and well-being. So, make physical activity part of your daily routine. Use the stairs instead of the lift/elevator (up and down!). Park your car a little further. Go for a walk in your lunch break. You don’t have to be an athlete to get on the move! “Incidental” exercise adds up and is important.
10. START NOW! – AND MAKE SMALL CHANGES
Making gradual changes in your lifestyle are much easier than taking a big jump all at once. To start on the road to healthy eating, pick one tip and work on it for a couple of weeks. When you feel comfortable with that, move on to the next one.
If you want to know how your current diet is, write down the foods and drinks you eat at meals and as snacks for the next three days and then analyse their nutritional value with food counters.