Good Food~Good Health: a reminder

Good Food~Good Health aims to promote good food as a route to good health and empower people to make good choices about food through nutrition education.

Nutrition education helps us to take responsibility for the choices we make about food everyday. When we make conscious, deliberate, thoughtful choices, mindful of the impact of those choices on not only our own health but the health of the people around us and the planet we live on we can make a difference.

Good food may take more effort, more time and more energy than we think we have available but each choice, each small change, each moment can add up to something bigger.

Take a small step every day. Choose good food for good health.

Inspired by Jen Gale at http://www.asustainablelife.co.uk

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Keep it simple

On a recent holiday in Malta we stayed in a nice hotel which offered breakfast as a part of the holiday package. We like to eat breakfast at the hotel in the mornings so that we do not reach the hungry/angry stage of the day where we are trying to decide whether to eat before or after taking a walk along the beach or visiting another museum.

Breakfast at the hotel was lavish – there was even a chef to cook our eggs for us! As much as I thought I would enjoy variety at breakfast time, when faced with a multitude of choices I found myself frozen with indecision and felt pressure to ‘enjoy’ or ‘indulge’. Many of my fellow breakfast-eaters seemed to enjoy the bacon, sausages, cold meats, cheeses, pastries, breakfast cereal, various types of bread, bread rolls, spreads and more.

Having to decide from the vast array of food, I felt a little stressed and found myself appreciating the simple choices that I make at home. In the end I chose food that was familiar and relatively healthy – juice, banana, yoghurt, eggs or baked beans.

I acknowledge that an abundance of breakfast choices is a first-world problem but the situation illustrated to me the value that can be found in keeping things simple and realising that I am not ‘missing out’ by doing so.

Enjoy Good Food for Good Health

©SD Wheelock

What will my Nutritionist advise?

If you have decided that it is time to ‘get healthy’ and you are considering making changes to your diet, you might wonder if asking a Nutritionist for advice would be useful.

A responsible Nutritionist who is concerned about your long-term health should provide advice like this:

Food First

  • All of your nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming food
  • All food and beverage choices matter – consider the totality of what you eat and drink and the dietary components that might promote or hinder health
  • Look at the big picture – dietary components (such as protein, fibre, or fat) fit into a broad healthy eating pattern and all of these must be considered
  • Consider nutrient-dense choices – healthy eating means choosing a variety of foods that contain vitamins and minerals, protein, fibre and other healthful nutrients or components at an appropriate calorie level

Nutrient-dense foods include fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, eggs, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, lean meats and poultry and seafood. To be healthy, overall food choices should also contain minimal amounts of saturated fat, sodium/salt and added sugar.

To maximise variety and value, be sure to include all forms of foods, including fresh, canned, dried and frozen foods, all of which can be included into healthy eating patterns.

With an overall reliance on food, healthy eating patterns can easily be adapted and tailored to accommodate personal, cultural and traditional preferences, as well a food budget.

One size does not fit all 

Eating patterns and nutrient needs will vary according to age, height, weight, gender, and activity level. Healthy eating considerations should account for calorie needs as many groups, especially children, have vastly different calorie (and nutrient) requirements.

For most people a achieving healthy eating patterns will require changes in food choices. Small steps that encourage change over time will help with a move towards healthier eating patterns.

Physical activity can contribute to overall body weight management and assists with other aspects of a healthy lifestyle, such as sleep patterns and reduced risk of chronic disease (such as heart disease).

Look for ways to make your healthy choices a bit easier by identifying and connecting with local support, such as healthy lifestyle messages from your school, workplace and communities.

Do not consider that there is a quick fix when thinking about becoming healthier. So far, my own journey towards a healthier lifestyle has taken 10 years. I am nearly 50 years old.  I now weigh 30 kilograms less than I did when I was 40 years old. My recent blood tests and blood pressure readings indicate that I am healthy (not at risk of diabetes, heart disease, or stroke). However, I continue to be careful with my food and drink intake, maximising nutrients and minimising calories for continued health as I head towards the ‘third-age’.

A responsible nutritionist will advise you about food and activity and help you to find a path to healthy eating and a healthier  lifestyle that works for you and can be sustained in the longer term, without too much fuss or expense.

Find a registered nutritionist or dietitian

http://www.associationfornutrition.org/

https://www.bda.uk.com/

Enjoy Good Food for Good Health