A healthy diet should consist of:
- 60% Carbohydrates
These provide energy to the body so it can carry out all it’s functions. You should focus on complex carbohydrates such as those found in rice, noodles, bread, fresh fruit and vegetables. They are easily metabolised and are cheap, tasty and satisfying.
- 25% Fats
The body needs fats for a reserve source of energy, to regulate temperature and to cushion vital organs. Saturated fats such as those found in milk, red meat and eggs produce more cholesterol than unsaturated fats which are found in nuts, plant and vegetable oils. Saturated fats should be used in moderation or avoided if possible.
The body’s building blocks. Proteins support growth and repair, aid digestion and feed the immune system. They are found mainly in meat, fish, eggs, soya beans and tofu.
- Vitamin A: counters oxidants and toxic waste. Good sources are carrots, broccoli, peaches, watermelon and green vegetables.
- Vitamin C: guards against cell mutations and premature aging. Found in citrus fruits, cabbage, potatoes and peppers.
- Vitamin E: protects the fats from oxidation and soaks up free radicals. Found in liver, green leafy vegetables, wheatgerm and palm oil.
Such as calcium, iron and magnesium. Essential to support the formation of bone, nails, teeth and blood cells.
They are found in many products such as milk, dark green vegetables, liver, meat and grains.
6-8 Glasses of water a day.
Water is required for the elimination of waste and to regulate body temperature. Don’t drink too much with meals as it dilutes the digestive juices.
“The wrong foods can fail to nourish us, can keep us awake at night and make us sluggish and overweight. It really is worth reviewing your eating habits to ensure better health.”
When Should You Eat
Ideally, lunch should be the main meal of the day whilst dinner should be light and taken early. However, modern lifestyles often dictate that we eat our main meal in the evening. A quick, unsatisfying lunch or no lunch at all means you are very hungry by the end of the day.
During the day, due to activity, breakfast gets utilised, lunch gets utilised but dinner does not. Heavy dinners cause problems with weight and digestion. A meal takes up to four hours to digest.
As our body’s optimum time to digest food is during the early afternoon, by late evening it is not geared up to digest more than a certain quantity. Therefore, the food your body has only partially digested lies in your stomach while you sleep. This causes discomfort, dehydration, disrupted sleep patterns and weight gain.
What Should You Eat
- Breakfast should consist of fruits, yoghurt , cereals and perhaps some protein. For example, eggs, cottage cheese or soaked almonds.
- Lunch should be substantial. Start with a salad, then a protein (fish or chicken), a vegetable and carbohydrate (rice, potato, pasta or corn). Then eat a mildly sweetened pudding around 45 minutes after lunch.
- Dinner should be light and eaten early. It should not contain heavy proteins such as beef or lamb or spicy food as these take longer to digest. Dessert should be avoided at night.