A Healthy Diet for Life
Having established that your body needs a well balanced diet, with a
good supply of carbohydrates, especially high - fiber foods, water
vitamins and minerals, and a certain amount of protein, fat and
bacteria, you need to know how to put it into practice.
media attention is focused on foods that one should not have, yet there
has been very little to tell women how they can use food to enhance
their life rather than make it more difficult. Forget the labels; every
figure is relative and food manufacturers are frequently very selective
about what they tell you, making your task of deciding what is right for
you an impossible one. Instead build your choices on the following guidelines.
YOUR MOUTH AND BODY:
GET INTO THE HABIT OF ONLY EATING THINGS YOU LIKE
Before you put
anything in your mouth, ask yourself three questions: Do I want it/ Do I
like it/ Do I need it?
you want it and like it then go ahead and enjoy it, if you don’t why
bother wasting the eating experience? Throw all the boring, unnecessary
eating out of your life.
The worst thing
you can do with food is to feel guilty about eating it. If you have
eaten something that you know is not the healthier but you really
fancied it or were in a situation where you didn’t have any choice,
enjoy it an forget about it. Don’t beat yourself up with guilt. Guilt
is a negative emotion, which is likely to lead you to bingeing on
comfort foods. This can then get you into a negative sugar or salt cycle
in which you eat more of these foods, which in turn makes you feel even
more guilty. You might then decide it’s not worth continuing with you
healthy eating lifestyle. It is always worth persevering. Remember that
life is for living and food is there to help us, not hinder us.
TO EAT FIVE PORTIONS OF FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES EVERY DAY
This provides your
body with a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, to maintain
your body in peak condition to fight diseases. Fiber helps your food to
move effectively through the body, keeps you feeling pleasantly
full and satisfied and in control of your eating habits, and your energy
THREE MEALS A DAY
This is usually made up of one main meal, a smaller snack or
lunch-type meal and breakfast. You may, however, feel that you need two
smaller snacks, such as a piece of fruit, a small sandwich or a piece of
cake, in between two smaller meals. It all depends on your body rhythms.
Meals should be based on carbohydrates, such as pasta, whole-meal bread,
wholegrain cereals, rice or potatoes, along with fruits and/or
vegetables. The main meal should include a source of lean protein, along
with carbohydrate and plenty of vegetables and fruits.
LEAN SOURCES OF PROTEIN
Fish, shellfish, lean red meat, game, poultry, eggs or pulses
meet your body’s protein requirements without overloading on fats.
TO GET INTO THE HABIT OF USING JUST A SMALL AMOUNT OF FAT
You can use butter,
olive oil, sesame oil or walnut oil to enhance the flavor of your food
or for cooking, but do try to keep the quantity low.
YOUR INTAKE OF REFINED SUGAR FOODS LOW
Too much sugar
disrupts your natural energy balance, and can cause headaches; mood
swings and – if eaten in large quantities – sugar sensitivity
problems such as hypoglycemia and diabetes mellitus. It is much better
to get into the habit of using the natural sugars in fruits to provide
SOME DAIRY PRODUCTS OR ANOTHER SIGNIFICANT SOURCE OF CALCIUM IN YOUR
This has far reaching
benefits for all women of all age group.
TWO THREE LITERS (FOUR TO FIVE PINTS) OF WATER EVERY DAY
helps the fiber in your food to swell and perform its duties. It also
helps to metabolize other nutrients from your food, keep your skin and
hair healthy and prevent your body from becoming dehydrated.
NOT TO DRINK MORE THAN THREE CUPS OF COFFEE, TEA OR COLA.
All such drinks contain caffeine, which inhibit the absorption of
vitamins and minerals from the gut, causes your body to excrete vital
nutrients and interferes with the fluid and energy balance mechanisms in
your body. Caffeine also causes your body to be stimulated in an
artificial way, which in the long run has the opposite effect of
supressing your performance and general feeling of well
SOME ‘GOOD’ BACTERIA IN YOUR DAILY DIET, IN THE FORM OF ‘LIVE’
YOGURT CONTAINING BIFIDUS AND ACIDOPHILUS
small pot of ‘bio’ yogurt a day should help to keep a healthy
balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. If you don’t like or are
unable to eat live yogurt, seek the advice of your dietician
TO EAT REGULARLY AND IDEALLY NOT LEAVE YOUR STOMACH EMPTY FOR MORE THAN
FOUR TO FIVE HOUR
This helps to keep your gut functioning effectively. Regular
eating helps your gut maintain a steady supply of digestive enzymes,
protects it from excess acid secretion and enables it to metabolize food
in the most efficient way, to keep your energy level and moods on an
YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE MODERATE
Some drinks, especially young red wines such as Beaujolais,
contain anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals, which can help to reduce the
risk of heart disease and some cancers. Beers and Champagnes can also
provide beneficial nutrients. Drinking can be a very pleasurable part of
a healthy lifestyle, but drinking to excess can cause liver damage, mood
and energy-balance problems. Try not to drink on an empty stomach as
this can cause your blood sugar levels to crash.
The issue of whether you should eat proteins and carbohydrates at
the same meal is one that regularly crops up in the media. Some diet
consultants feel strongly that proteins and carbohydrates should be
separated, and advocate that proteins should be eaten only with
vegetables and fruit, not mixed with carbohydrates. Many people feel
that their body functions better if they out this into practice; it is
commonly known as food combining.
From the physiological and nutritional viewpoint, proteins (meat,
chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, pulses) provide the body with amino
acids, used as building blocks within muscles and other tissues.
Carbohydrates provide energy and fiber. If you eat proteins on their
own, without carbohydrate present, the protein can be broken down into
energy, rather than used for building body tissue. Proteins also have
other important functions to perform in maintaining body health and
carbohydrates protect proteins, enabling them to fulfill these functions.
The choice is yours, but there is no physiological reasoning behind food
combining. I believe that food is there to be enjoyed. Women should not
have to agonize over whether they are ‘allowed’ to eat certain
things at certain times.