Many of us think we have a handle on healthy eating. But is your diet really as healthy as you think? Sometimes, it can be tricky to know what’s good for you, and what to avoid. There are conflicting reports around, and some foods you may think are nutritious can actually harbor hidden dangers. If you’re keen to focus on your diet, and you’d like some advice, bear these pointers in mind.
Are you eating too much sugar?
The World Health Organization advises that sugar should make up no more than 5 percent of your daily calorie intake. This equates to around 6-7 teaspoons per day. Bear in mind that an average 500 ml of soda contains 17 cubes of sugar. Are you exceeding your sugar intake without even realizing? Most of us take in a lot more sugar than we need. Fizzy drinks are one of the main offenders. But there may also be hidden sugars lurking in other foods. Examples include condiments, shop-bought smoothies, and yogurts. Always check the labels before you buy. Many popular foods now have the sugar content clearly marked on the packaging.
Is your diet lacking in protein?
Your body needs protein to build new tissue, and carry out essential repairs. Every single cell in your body requires protein. It’s fairly common to lack protein in your diet. If you keep a food diary using an app, you’ll be able to see how close you get to your target intake every day. Ideally, you should aim for a protein intake of 0.8 g per kilo. This means that if you weigh 50 kg, you should consume at least 40 g of protein per day. Good sources of protein include eggs, fish, meat, and dairy products. Forty grams of protein equates to around 6 eggs.
Are you hitting your 5-a-day target every day?
Fruit and vegetables contain valuable nutrients, and this is why experts recommend a daily intake of five portions. If you vary what you eat, you’re bound to provide your body with a host of vitamins and minerals. It can be difficult to hit the target every day. But there are ways of making it easier. One way is to create juices and smoothies at home. Using appliances like the Breville JE98XL, you can make delicious, nutritious homemade drinks. You can use fresh or frozen fruits and try out different recipes. Try and avoid adding sugar, and drink through a straw to protect your teeth. You can also increase your intake by serving sides with meat and fish. Add different types of vegetables to homemade sauces and casseroles. It’s also a good idea to prepare lunches in advance so you can eat healthily at work. Make a salad, go for a vegetable pasta dish, or make your own soup.
You may think that your diet is really healthy. But if you look closer, is it really as balanced and varied as it could be? Keeping a food diary is a really effective way of keeping tabs on your diet, and identifying groups that are lacking. Try and make sure you vary the foods you eat, and that you cover all the major food groups. Aim to hit your 5-a-day every day, and keep an eye on your sugar intake.