Staying healthy when you are busyOct 08, 2022
Staying healthy when you are busy can be a challenge for all of us, but it doesn’t need to be. Using our fool proof plate model as a guide for meals will help ensure you get all the nutrients you need as well as manage your weight, whether you are eating at home or eating out.
Fill half of your plate with non-starchy veg or salad and you will be well on your way. One serve of raw salad/ vegetables is equal to around 2 handfuls.
Non starchy veg are your new best friend. They add BULK to your meal.
We all know veggies are great for us, yet only around 4% of the population eat the recommended 5 serves per day.
Aim to fill a quarter of your plate with high fibre carbohydrate foods, equivalent to about a fist size.
Whole grains in particular, are rich sources of antioxidants and contain all 3 types of fibres: soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch.
Research has shown that diets rich in whole grains help you lose weight and keep it off, are protective against type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer and can assist with lowering cholesterol.
Whole grains include: Brown rice, oats, barley, rye, quinoa and buckwheat.
Aim to fill a quarter of your plate with protein, a serve of protein is roughly the size of your palm.
Adequate protein intake helps with weight maintenance and forms the building blocks of our hormones including serotonin, our happy hormone.
Include mono and polyunsaturated fats (found in plant foods) with every meal, examples include extra virgin olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds and avocado.
Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines are particularly rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acid, with regular consumption found to support brain health, cognitive performance and increase brain gray matter volume.
Tip: Saturated fats like butter, are best kept on the 'sometimes' list, with serve size kept to the size of the tip of your thumb.
Carbohydrates and veggies are sources of fibre, which aid with satiety, assist with lowering cholesterol and also help to stabilise our blood sugar levels.
Eating fast absorbing carbohydrates (like white bread for example) can spike blood sugar levels, and what goes up must come down. Low blood sugar is often what leads to those 3pm sugar cravings.
Consuming protein and carbs at the same time helps slows down carbohydrate absorption, and assists with protein absorption, as insulin (the hormone that helps us absorb carbohydrates) may also enhance the transport of some amino acids (proteins) into our cells.
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