It’s British Nutrition Foundation Healthy Eating Week (11th -15th June). Now there’s a lot of confusing information out there and many special healthy diets, of which some also focus on weight loss: vegan, protein rich diet (eating mainly meat and dairy), ketogenic diet (very low carb, lots of fat), time restricted eating, low carb diets. It seems letting getting healthier is becoming more and more complicated. So what do I think is important when you want to be healthier? Let’s look at the basics.
Eat lots (and lots) of vegetables and a bit of fruit.
The standard recommendation so far has been for five servings a day, but research tells us that ten servings of vegetables and fruit is more like it. A serving is half a cup of cooking vegetables or a cup of raw. And at least 8 of those servings should be vegetables.
Why all that veg? Well, just to name a few reasons: they are low in calories, provide lots of fibre, contain important minerals and vitamins and feed our beneficial gut flora.
No late night snacking
Our bodies follow roughly a 24 hour rhythm. The night is used for detoxification. Digestion slows down during the night and the liver gets to work. When you go to sleep on a full stomach the food you ate is not going to be digested properly and the detoxification isn’t going to happen that well. You might even wake up sluggish or headachy! It’s a good idea to have a 12 hour fast between your dinner and your breakfast.
Cut way back on sugar
We all need a bit of sweetness in our lives, but the way we are consuming sugar in the UK is completely out of balance. Sugar is everywhere, even in meats and ready meals! Eating that much sugar is one the reasons we are seeing more diabetes 2 at a younger age.
It’s interesting that sugar can be quite addictive and our taste buds get used to the amount of sweetness. On the plus side, it doesn’t take long to get used to less sugar. I do my baking now with a lot less sugar and now find normal biscuits horribly sweet – they've lost their attraction!
Cook your meals from scratch
I see it all the time in my practice: when clients start avoiding processed foods and cooking from whole ingredients many health problems resolve themselves. This can include weight gain, diabetes, hormone imbalance and fatigue. How do you recognise processed food? Have a look at the ingredients list. If it’s a long list that contains ingredients your nan hasn’t heard of, that’s a clear sign. The best foods come without an ingredients list or have maximum 5 ingredients that you recognise as normal food instead of some kind of chemical.
Drink more water
Aim to drink 8 medium glasses of water a day (about 1.2-1.5 litre). If you’re feeling tired, sluggish or have a headache, it could just be that you’re dehydrated! Constipation can be caused by not drinking enough water. Drinking more water also means you’re drinking less soft drinks and juice, so less sugar.
Are you having health issues and are you curious how you can change your diet and lifestyle and feel a lot better? Have a look at my website: evelinerodenburg.co.uk or check out my Facebook page Herbcraft Foodcraft (https://www.facebook.com/evelinerodenburg.co.uk/)