Do you know what to eat?

by Dr. Laura Brown
in Recipes
on 01 January 2015
Hits: 2316

6 simple things to remember in your daily diet

In the midst of all the different diets on the market, how do you know what's right for you? This article will help you get started with some simple basics. 

1. 6-10 cups of vegetables (measured raw): mixed colourful raw, blended, lightly steamed or slow cooked vegetables. Time and time again studies show that a high consumption vegetables and some fresh fruit is one of the key ingredients to health and avoiding or treating disease.

2. 1-3 servings of fresh fruit per day. One serving is: 1 apple, 1 banana, 1 orange, 1 c berries Time and time again studies show that a daily consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is one of the key ingredients to health and avoiding or treating disease.

3. Fibre

Soluble fiber attracts water and forms a gel, which will trap dietary cholesterol in food you eat and help the body to excrete it. Excess body cholesterol is a main culprit in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular damage. Soluble fibre when taken with adequate amounts of water will bulk up and make you feel fuller longer. It will also slow digestion so dietary sugars are released more slowly into your bloodstream, which will help regulate blood glucose levels. Sources of soluble fibre include: oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, celery, and carrots.

Insoluble fiber: have a laxative effect, add bulk and prevent constipation. They are found in foods like whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran, corn bran, seeds, nuts, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, grapes, fruit, and root vegetable skins.

See http://www.nationalfibercouncil.org/food_chart.shtml for a list of common foods and their fiber content.

4. Carbohydrates: 50-200g per day. Keep to the lower end to help stimulate caloric restriction and maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Don’t go any lower than 50g per day as you need this minimum amount for proper thyroid hormone (metabolism) and brain function. Keep carbohydrates low and lower your triglyceride levels, and ultimately this will lower your cholesterol levels.

Low Glycemic Load foods: When selecting foods, the amount of carbohydrates that are readily available as sugar to your blood stream are measured as “glycemic load”. Always choose foods that are low in glycemic index to moderate your blood glucose levels. A steady stream of blood glucose will help mood, prevent disease like diabetes type 2, cancer, obesity, gallbladder and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, the results of several small, short-term trials (1-4 months) suggest that low-glycemic load diets result in significantly more weight or fat loss than high-glycemic load diets.

Glycemic index/load of foods available at:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/foods/grains/gigl.html

Good resources to identify carbohydrates in foods:

http://www.lowcarbdietitian.com/blog/category/low-carb

http://www.balancedbites.com

http://thepaleodiet.com

5. Healthy fats: Fats are essential to the membrane of every cell of the body. Healthy fats help the transmission of messages run smoothly and prevent inflammatory conditions.

  • 2 TBSP olive oil per day (raw)
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil per day for cooking or baking needs
  • 1 TBSP supplemental High Potency fish oil per day (raw)
  • NO: transfats,
  • AVOID: saturated fats, trim meats of any fat
  • Rest of fats you will get from a healthy diet with nuts and seeds and within your controlled intake of meat and dairy

 

6. Lean Protein: requirement 0.8g/kg of body weight. Protein is the building block of life. For example, it is used for muscle and organ building and maintenance, neurotransmitter creation, and enzymes to perform chemical reactions.

For example, a woman who is 120lbs (54kg) X 0.8 = 43.2g protein per day.

Protein should be consumed with every meal as only so much can be assimilated at any one time.

So for example if you are 120lbs, 15 g per meal on average of 3 meals, or 10-12g over 4 meals.

Watch the sources of protein as the animal based ones often come with sources of saturated fats, which you will wish to avoid, or at least consume in very small quantities.

For nutritional content in common foods see: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/pdf/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/nvscf-vnqau-eng.pdf

Please note: This is a guideline and may need to be altered to suit intense physical activity and medical condition requirements. Please consult your healthcare provider for changes, additions and supplements that may optimize your nutrition and health.

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