Today, more than ever, we are bombarded with suggestions on what we should be eating. You can’t pick up a magazine without being told that some particular way of eating is the best thing out.
I think that many people are totally confused as to what forms a healthy diet, so much so, that they give up and just keep doing what they are doing. Should we be following the 5:2 diet? How about the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet that is popular right now? Should we cut out grains? Or dairy – or both? Should we be gluten free?
I agree, it can be totally confusing and because nutrition science, like most other sciences, changes as time goes on, it is tricky to know what to eat for good health and weight loss.
The bottom line is that there is no one way of eating that is ideal for everyone, but there are basics that stand the test of time.
Here are some of the basics
This is what I recommend as being important as the basis of a healthy diet.
- Eat fresh, real food. Most of our food should go in the fridge, i.e. fresh veggies, low fat dairy, lean proteins. Frozen veggies are fine too.
- Low carb, fibrous vegetables should make up half of your lunch and dinner. This is the one thing I think is most overlooked, particularly at lunchtime. Veggies are not a condiment, they should form the bulk of your lunch and dinner. You can download a list of these veggies here.
- While it is not necessary to go gluten free unless you are intolerant, I think it is preferable to keep wheat and gluten to a low level in your daily diet.
- Eggs are healthy! Eggs are packed with healthy vitamins and minerals and are a good source of protein. It’s a good idea to have one or two meat free meals a week and eggs are a great substitute.
- Keep simple sugar low in your diet. Read labels to look for sneaky sugar being added to anything packaged.
- If your goal is fat loss, then two fruit servings a day is enough.
- A good intake of fibre every day is important so start your day with a high fibre breakfast and eat plenty of fibrous veggies. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world and a high fibre diet can help reduce the risk of becoming a statistic.
- Water! Do this little equation to get an idea of how much water per day you need. Your weight x 0.034. For instance 70 kilos x 0.034 = 2.4 litres per day.
- Alcohol is not part of the food group. It is something that should be seen as ‘special’, not an everyday item. Reduce your alcohol intake if appropriate.
I’m pretty sure that most of you will agree that when you eat well you have more energy, you feel more positive and you just feel better overall. Put the above steps in place and reap the rewards.