National Healthy Eating Week
Between the 15th to 24th June 2018, it is the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) Healthy Eating Week.
What the BNF are trying to achieve is to help allow individuals from all ages to make healthier choices, through the building of knowledge.
So, what exactly is healthy eating? In my opinion I would say that healthy eating is making sure that you are having a balanced diet, with a variety of foods to make sure you are able to maintain a healthy body and getting all the required nutrients for your body to function well.
However, it’s not just food that’s important, it’s also making sure that you stay hydrated, stay physically active and also look after your mental health and wellbeing. Here are just a couple of tips in regard to some of these areas:
It’s always best cooking meals from scratch so that you know exactly what’s in it. More than likely, your meal will contain less salt and sugar. You can also make extra and refrigerate it or freeze it for a later meal or packed lunch.
When buying food, try to make sure you read the label since this gives you the knowledge of what is inside what you are actually eating!
A variety of food will always keep things interesting and help to maintain your health. It is also important to have a balanced relationship with food, not being fearful of it and to have a good attitude with it.
5 a Day
Recently research came out that said that 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day could help to prevent millions of deaths worldwide a year. However, if you’re struggling to eat 5 portions a day, continue to aim for 5 and when that becomes easier, then if you want you can increase it.
5 portions still have a host of benefits including all those vitamins and minerals. For reference, one portion is considered to be 80g and it needs to be different fruits and vegetables.
Nearly two thirds of our body is water, so it’s essential that we stay hydrated. Your best source of hydration and fluid intake is water (although milk and sugar free tea and coffee are also counted within our fluid intake). We also get water from foods we eat.
Lots of soft drinks are high in sugar and are known to be energy dense but nutrient poor. It’s best to drink water in small amounts and frequently.
It is recommended that we try and complete 150minutes of physical activity a week (which is where we get 30 minutes x 5 times a week from).
The issue with our modern society is that it is so easy to lead a sedentary lifestyle (little or no physical activity): we have cars to drive us around; for many of us our jobs revolve around desk work; we don’t have to walk up a flight of stairs half the time; as well as the factors of all the electronics we have surrounding us!
As well as improving physiological factors (e.g. heart health), exercise is also a great way to relieve stress and reduce anxiety (it can help with mental wellbeing).
It is important when looking at increasing physical activity that you take part in things you enjoy because if you like it, you’re more likely to continue with it!
A Varied Diet
It is important to have a diet that is varied, ensuring that we get enough vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fibre, whilst making sure that we stay physically active.
I’ve included some recipe ideas, which I hope will inspire you and our website has many more:
Omelette with Peppers, Tomatoes and Pumpkin Seeds
This is a great way of getting some of your 5 a day in, as well as healthy fats from the pumpkin seeds and the eggs. Eggs (especially the yolk) contain a vast number of vitamins and minerals which we need to maintain our health, as well as providing protein. This meal will help to keep you full until lunch time!
These burgers contain complex carbohydrates from the beans meaning they will help to keep you feeling satiated. They also provide some more fibre into your diet, as well as containing quinoa, a complete protein. The beans will also provide you with some protein.
A delicious and filling meal, this is a great way of upping your fibre, as well as protein. If you paired this with some brown rice it would make a complementary protein between the chickpeas and the brown rice (giving you all the essential amino acids we need).
OR, as an alternative:
Salmon is a source of omega 3s, an essential fatty acid (we cannot synthesise it so must get it through foods we consume), which plays a role in maintaining and protecting our heart health and may also play a role in the prevention of other chronic diseases.
This recipe also provides us with protein, vitamin B12, niacin, vitamin B6 and potassium to name a few. It is recommended that we try and eat 2 portions of fish a week.
It’s important that if you do hit that afternoon slump where you start to crave something, that you try to eat nutrient rich snacks. We all know how easy it is to go for something that’s energy dense but nutrient poor - this includes things like crisps, cupcakes, pastries, chocolate etc. things that don’t really leave you feeling 100% satisfied and then in 30 minutes you’re craving more! Though, once in a while these are fine.
So, here are 2 different options, one sweet and one savoury:
Maca and Cacao Bites
For the bites if you don’t have any maca you can get away with not including it.
Broccoli, Goat's Cheese and Pumpkin Seed Muffins
I love the muffins again for when I’m at work and need something filling - you’ve got the coconut flour which is high in fibre, as well as some healthy fats and even a sneaky bit of veg!
To read more on the BNF Healthy Eating Week click here.
Daisy, MSc PGDip ANutr, is a Registered Associate Nutritionist with a Master's Degree in Public Health Nutrition, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition, both of which are Association for Nutrition (AFN) accredited. She, also, has a BSc degree in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience; and has completed an AFN accredited Diet Specialist Nutrition course.
Daisy has worked for an NHS funded project, the Diabetes Prevention Programme; and shadowed a nutritionist in Harley Street.
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