January can be a tough one to get back on track to feeling yourself physically and with the leftover mince pies and chocolate coins staring you straight in the face, it’s important to stay strong and resist temptation! Although this can be an easy adjustment for some people, others are struggling to figure out their starting point.
Go onto the HSE, Safefood, FSAI and The Department of Health websites and read hours upon end of healthy eating guidelines OR read this slimmed down version we have for you below, along with some facts to help you read a nutritional label. Hopefully this list will help you to be more nutritionally aware and provide you with a healthy and positive start to the year. #NewYearResolutions
Disclaimer: We are not nutritionists but have a strong background in the food industry, the world of sports and agriculture! We have a good idea about basic guidelines surrounding nutrition 😊
1. Choose a variety of foods from each food group; carbohydrates, fats, fruit & veg, meats & nuts, and others (sweets, cakes, etc.).
This ensures your intake of adequate amounts of calories, protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre.
2. Drink plenty of water.
Up to 8 glasses per day.
This prevents unnecessary unhealthy cravings as water keeps you fuller for longer.
Water will prevent your metabolism from slowing down.
3. Be aware of your serving sizes.
4. Choose lean meat and poultry and include fish.
Red meat can be quite high in fat.
Nuts are also quite high in protein and can be substituted.
A high protein product is where at least 20% of the energy of the food is provided by protein.
5. Eat a variety of colourful vegetables and fruit.
- Try and base your meals on these.
- Ideally half your plate should be made up by vegetables, fruit or salad.
- 5 portions a day – the more the better.
- Drinking smoothies results in not as much fibre consumed as you would eating whole fruit.
6. Limit your salt intake.
A low salt product is one which has < 0.3g of salt per 100g.
Too much salt can cause high blood pressure.
Keep your heart healthy and avoid heart disease.
Try and conduct physical exercise every day.
Weight loss occurs when you burn in excess the calories you’ve consumed.
Your metabolism is faster when your exercise, even burning calories when you are at rest.
7. Low-fat dairy products are your best choice.
8. Unhealthy snacks can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet in moderation
The appropriate amount at appropriate times.
9. Consciously try to bake, steam and boil your food instead of frying and deep fat frying as much as possible.
You can’t see the amount of oil in your food as it is absorbed when you fry/deep fry
10. Fats are necessary but not used sparingly
A low-fat product is one which has < 3g fat per 100g.
A low saturated fat product is one which has < 1.5g saturated fat per 100g.
Preferably polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.
Too much fat can increase the amount of cholesterol.
Avoid foods which contain trans fats which are high in cholesterol, eg. Takeaways, cakes.
11. Try and substitute wholemeal carbohydrates as much as possible, fibre is your friend!
Eat just enough to meet your energy needs.
A low sugar product is one which has < 5g of sugars per 100g.
A high fibre product is one which has > 6g of fibre per 100g.
12. Drink alcohol in moderate amounts.
Another one that can be harmful to your heart if too much is consumed.
Be aware that alcohol is very high in calories.