February 10, 2014

Balanced Diet for Weight Loss

      A varied diet ensures you are getting all the nutrition your body needs. It is also crucial to get the proportions right. You need to eat the right amount from each of the five food groups: carbohydrates, protein, fruit and vegetables, dairy (or the equivalent) and sugars and fats.

    Carbohydrates should provide around 50% of your food intake. Carbs give us the energy we need. Choose foods that are un-refined and fiber-rich, such as oats, rice and potatoes
    Fruit & Vegetables should form approximately one third of our intake. They are the crucial sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Increasing your intake of fruit and veg could help compensate for the loss of fiber that wheat provides in your diet.
    Protein in fish, meat, poultry, nuts and seeds are key foods for vegetarians and carnivores alike and should form around 10-15% of our daily food intake. They are important for building and repairing our bodies.
     Dairy excluding butter and margarine are classified as fats. Dairy foods are an important source of calcium (important for healthy bones) and protein. If you are intolerant of lactose then goat's milk, sheep and soya milk are good alternatives. If you are controlling your fats and/or calories, choose reduced fat products.
    Sugars and Fats should be eaten sparingly. Some fats are vital to health so it is important to know the different types.


Tips


  1. Stay active. A healthy diet is built on a base of regular physical activity, which keeps calories in balance and weight in check. 
  2. Eating a plant-based diet is healthiest. Make half your plate vegetables and fruits (potatoes and French fries don't count as vegetables). Cook with healthy plant oils, like olive and canola oil. Get most or all of your protein from beans, nuts and seeds, or tofu
  3. Pick healthy protein sources like fish and beans, not burgers and hot dogs. Eating fish, chicken, beans, or nuts in place of red meat and processed meat can lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. So limit red meat—beef, pork, or lamb—to twice a week or less. Avoid processed meat—bacon, cold cuts, hot dogs, and the like—since it strongly raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.
  4. Eating whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta) in place of refined grains (white rice, white bread, white pasta) makes it easier to control weight and lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  5. Drink water, coffee, or tea—not sugary beverages— in moderation. What you drink is as important to your health as what you eat. Water is the best choice, and coffee and tea, with little or no sugar, also have health benefits. Limit milk and dairy to one to two servings per day, since high dairy intake can increase the risk of some diseases, and go easy on juice, since it is high in sugar. 

Pointers


  1. To lose weight you must monitor your calorie intake, as you would with any weight loss diet.
  2. Fibre intake is very important and whole meal bread and pasta is among the best sources of fibre in a balanced diet. Wheat is also a good source of carbohydrates, antioxidants and some vitamins. If you stop eating these foods you must replace them with other foods such as rice, corn, quinoa, millet and buckwheat that will give your body the fibre and nourishment it would normally get from wheat or you could find constipation and lack of energy a real problem.
  3. Keep saturated and trans fats, as well as refined sugars, to a minimum
  4. Wheat is leading everyone down a path towards diabetes and degenerative diseases. The only way to avoid wheat products is to utilize more almond flour, flax meal and coconut flour among others
  5. Naringenin, a flavonoid in grapefruit, balances out blood sugar levels and helps to prevent metabolic syndrome, a pre-diabetic condition associated with weight gain around the waist. TIP: Begin your day with a glass of grapefruit juice to kick-start your liver into fat-burning mode. Check with your doctor if you are taking statins or warfarin as drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice may interfere with these medications
  6. Eat less CRAP – Carbs, Refined sugar, Artificial sweeteners & colours and Processed foods. Eat more FOOD – Fruits & veggies, organic lean proteins, omega 3 fatty acids and drink water.

Substitutes for wheat in diet


Breakfast


  • cornflakes, porridge - Add fresh fruit in it. 
  • Make your own muesli using oats, dried fruit and nuts.
  • Have fresh fruit with yoghurt.

Lunch/ Dinner


  • Instead of having sandwiches or pitta bread with fillings, have a baked potato with filling. 
  • Salad with cold potatoes and to bulk it up a bit, add meat, fish, eggs or cheese
  • Rice paper wraps and havewith sandwich fillings.
  • Wheat free bread and you can still have sandwiches for lunch

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