Thursday, 7 April 2016

7 Steps To Achieve A Healthy Looking Plate.


Just last week the government watch dog on health sounded the alarm,  by 2020 a third of us would be obese. It would appear that Obesity is the singular threat to human existence. 
To avoid being a part of that statistics something has to give. You have to decide to eat right.

Eating right doesn't have to be difficult. It does involved some preparation to get you started. 
The National Health Service recommendation is for us to  eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily, simply because fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre and low in calories.
Despite the obvious benefits from eating 5 a day, most of us still aren’t doing it.

Here are 7 steps to help you achieve a healthy looking plate at each meal.

1. Plan your meals: Planning your meals will help you map out what goes onto your plate. Get a weekly meal planner to ensure you know your  what to eat and when. If you don’t know what to include day to day, get a  good cook book as a guide.  Choose your favourite meals and make sure that, whatever you choose have at least 3 vegetables with each meal. 

2. Your Shopping List:  This should include at least 3 of your five a day, which can be fresh, frozen, dried or tinned. Once you have your meal planner you will be able to see clearly what fruits or vegetables you need.

3. Select Healthy Starchy Options: it is recommended that starchy food should make up just over a third of the food we eat, these are good source of energy.  Choose whole grains whenever you can. Limit refined grains, like white rice and white bread, because the body rapidly turns them into blood sugar.  

4. Include Dairy Products: it is recommended that we should have diary at every meal. They are a good source of protein and vitamins. They are also an important source of calcium which helps to keep our bones strong. Try the low fat, low sugar option. 

5. Aim for The Healthiest Sources of Protein, such as fish, poultry, beans, and nuts; The advice by the health services is to cut back on red meat; avoid bacon, cold cuts, and other processed meats. At best these should be eaten in moderation. 

6. Healthy Oils: You should aim for healthy oils like olive, sunflower vegetables, rapeseed and canola oil. these are  unsaturated fats and are rated as better alternatives. They are all high in energy and should be eaten sparingly.

7. Drink More Fluid; drinking more water will keep you hydrated and fuller for longer. Drinking a glass of water before every meal will ensure you eat less. Avoid sugary drinks, and limit the consumption of tea and coffee. The Government recommends 6-8 glasses. 

Sticking to these steps will see you well on your way to having a healthy plate. 

Get a plan together, 
use that plan as your shopping aid
select healthy starchy options
Include healthy dairy products
Aim for healthy source of protein
Include healthy oils
Avoid unhealthy drinks. 
Anyone with special dietary or healthy issues should check with their dietitian or consult their doctor regarding the best eating plan for them.

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Sources: National Health Service, Harvard Health Publication, the good food guide.


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