How to put together a healthy meal:
- Healthy meals consist of a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats. Including elements of all three macronutrients keeps you feeling fuller for longer and helps to stabilise blood sugar levels.
- Carbohydrates: rice, pasta, bread, starchy vegetables such as corn, potato & sweet potato.
- Protein: red meat, fish, chicken, tofu, tempeh, lentils, chickpeas.
- 'Healthy fats': avocado, nuts and seeds, olive oil.
- Aim for meals to look like this:
- ½ of your plate/bowl/meal to be taken up by vegetables, ¼ by a source of protein and ¼ by complex carbohydrates.
- Enjoy 1-2 pieces of fruit/day.
- 1 serve of fruit = 1 medium piece of fruit e.g. an apple, mandarin, banana or 1/2 cup of berries.
- Aim to start with 5 serves of vegetables every day (increasing to 8+ eventually).
- 1 serve of veggies = 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw.
What to enjoy & what to avoid:
- Aim for whole foods where ever possible - that is food that has not undergone any processing and is closest to its natural form e.g. fresh fruits and vegetables or whole oats, brown rice, whole wheat sourdough bread.
- When buying things that do come in a packet e.g. canned lentils, tuna, popcorn, hummus, spreads such as peanut butter, protein balls etc. always check the ingredients. We want to avoid things with added sugar and lots of ingredients (especially ingredients that are hard to pronounce!)
- There is always a 'healthier option' for packaged foods e.g. nut butters that are 100% nuts with no added sugar, hummus without canola and sunflower oil.
- Low-fat dairy products are more processed than full-fat dairy options and often have added ingredients such as sugar.
- Full fat milk, cheese and full fat unsweetened greek yogurt are better options if consuming dairy.
- Skipping meals causes blood sugar fall to avoid this and - at a minimum eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, snack in between these if you're hungry.