Published on February 12th, 20120
Keeping a Balanced Diet
What nutrients does your body need?
To keep running smoothly, your body needs the following kinds of foods:
- Carbohydrates (sugars and starchy food), for energy
- Proteins, for building muscle etc
- Fats, for energy and making cell walls, etc
- Fibre, to keep the gut healthy
- Vitamins and minerals, for a wide range of functions
- Water, to flush out the waste products of your metabolism
How to getting the balance right
- Eat regular meals based on carbohydrate in the form of unrefined starchy foods. This means potatoes in their skins, rice, bread and pasta. The wholemeal versions are the best as they are thought to contain more vitamins and release their energy more steadily, as well as containing fibre.
- Refined sugary food can cause tooth decay and cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Sugar is ‘empty calories’ and contains only energy without other nutrients (the same goes for alcohol).
- Protein is needed in moderate amounts – eat a fist-sized portion at every meal. Go for lean meats, poultry, eggs, fish, beans, lower-fat cheeses, semi-skimmed milk, yoghurts, or soya products.
- Fats are essential to health in small amounts. You need roughly equal amounts of saturates (e.g. butter), monounsaturates (e.g. olive oil) and polyunsaturates (e.g. sunflower oil). Try to avoid hardened vegetable oils as they usually contain trans fatty acids that are unhealthy forms of fat.
- Vitamins and minerals are best obtained from eating a wide variety of foods. The ones in the tablets (and added to fortified cereals etc) are often not in the same natural forms that are found in food, and may not be absorbed as effectively. Try to eat at least five portions of different kinds of fruit or veg every day to stay in top condition.
- Eat breakfast and don’t skip meals. You’ll be more alert and your metabolism will be better. People who eat breakfast regularly are more likely to be slim than people who skip it.
- Combine a balanced diet with regular moderate exercise to feel and look your best.
- Make friends with food, it isn’t the enemy. It’s there to be enjoyed. If you eat something unhealthy, try not to feel guilty, just aim to eat more healthily the next day.
- Choosing A Low Carbohydrate Diet (answers.com)
- FAB Health: Foods for Energy (thefabgirls.wordpress.com)
- Lower Cholesterol with Easy Diet Changes (answers.com)
- FAB Health: Foods for Energy (thefabgirls.com)