Why is there always a ‘new and better way’ of approaching nutrition just around the corner?
The truth is, diet trends are all very similar but differ in the way they apply their methods. All of them are fighting for your attention to bridge a ‘knowledge gap’.
“Methods are many, principles are few. Methods may change, principles never do.”
For the vast majority of people it is not a lack of knowledge that prevents them from making positive nutrition choices, it is more of a ‘behaviour ‘gap’. We all live busy lives with stress and pressure that affect our ability to make decisions about the calories we consume.
Principles to empower you to make choices leading to a sustainable balanced, active, healthy lifestyle.
1- Eat slowly. It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to detect the fullness signal. Eating too quickly can lead to overeating and weight gain. Eating slowly will leave you feeling more satisfied, allowing you to enjoy and savour your food with family and friends.
2- Eat protein with every meal. We know this will help with recovery from exercise but protein is also closely linked to our hormones and stress levels in our daily lives. Eating protein provides your body with amino acids that are used to produce specific hormones, including insulin.
3- Eat fruit & Vegetables with every meal. Veg in particular are Micronutrient dense, not calorie dense. Micronutrients are the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, phytochemicals (found in plants) and antioxidants that are essential for good health. We can consume large quantities and benefit from their quality without gaining weight. Don’t go overboard on the fruit. Try to eat fruit rather than drink it. A large of orange juice can contain as much as 4-5 oranges. That is a lot of natural sugars to process!
4- Eat a variety of carbohydrates. They contain the Macronutrients and are the structural and energy-giving caloric components of our foods that most of us are familiar with. They include carbohydrates, fats and proteins. These can come from fruit and veg as well as the slow release, starchy foods such as oats, potatoes & whole grain.
5- Eat a balance of fats throughout the day. You will have a fuller feeling throughout the day and you are less likely to snack. Most hormones use fats as material to function. Healthy fat is the raw material that we need to produce and maintain proper hormone function. Here’s why: hormones are produced using certain fatty acids and cholesterol, so if we’re missing these nutrients, hormone problems arise simply because the body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to make them.
Monounsaturated fat fats can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Avocados, olives, olive oil, rapeseed oil. Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios and spreads made from these nuts.
Polyunsaturated fats help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and provide essential fatty acids. Oily fish, corn oil, sesame oil, soya oil, and spreads made from those oils. Flaxseed, pine nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.
Eating too much Saturated fat increases the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
Avoid Trans fat wherever possible. They can increase cholesterol in your blood. Foods with hydrogenated oils or fats in them likely contain Trans fats. Fried foods, takeaways, snacks like biscuits, cakes or pastries. Hard margarines.
To find out more: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/sugar-salt-and-fat/saturated-fat-animation
Keep nutrition simple -part 2 will look at how to apply these principles day to day.