Saturday, 4 July 2015

What are Healthy Eating Habits? - Do's and Don'ts


I have noticed that most people jump right into the crazy diets when they feel they have to loose weight, or gain muscle, or even think they have a bad eating habit. But they all seem to forget about doing the first step, or better said the main step: making your eating habit a healthy one.

There is no point if you go on a crazy diet, manage to get where you wanted, and then you go back to your normal eating habits and boom, loose everything you worked hard for extremely quickly.

As a dietitian, I thought "Why haven't I made a proper post about this yet?". So here I am, with WHO (World Health Organization) backing me up on what a good eating habit should be like.

Insert from WHO, found on this link:

"Key facts

  • A healthy diet helps protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
  • Unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are leading global risks to health.
  • Healthy dietary practices start early in life – breastfeeding fosters healthy growth and improves cognitive development, and may have longer-term health benefits, like reducing the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing NCDs later in life.
  • Energy intake (calories) should balance energy expenditure. Evidence indicates that total fat should not exceed 30% of total energy intake to avoid unhealthy weight gain (1, 2, 3), with a shift in fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats (3), and towards the elimination of industrial trans fats (4).
  • Limiting intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake (2, 5) is part of a healthy diet. A further reduction to less than 5% of total energy intake is suggested for additional health benefits (5).
  • Keeping salt intake to less than 5 g per day helps prevent hypertension and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke in the adult population (6)."

Healthy eating for Adults:

- 5 portions of fruits and veggies a day at least (This is a total of at least 400g). *Hint - potatoes, and any starchy root is not classified as fruit or vegetables.

- Sugars should be less than 10% of the total energy intake for a healthy person per day (50g or 12 teaspoons). * Hint - honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates are loaded with it.

- Fats should be less than 30% of the total energy intake (more or less 65g). Preferably unsaturated fats like the fats from fish, avocado, nuts, sunflower, canola and olive oils. Saturated fats like meat fat, butter, palm and coconut oil, cream, cheese, and lard are harmful to your body. Trans fat like margarine, spreads, or in processed foods, fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizzas, pies and cookies is the big NO NO because they are extremely harmful.

- Salt should be less than 5g per day (1 teaspoon), this being iodized salt. * Hint - high intake of salt is usually followed by low intake of potassium (fresh fruits and vegetables), which creates an unbalanced body leading to hypertension, heart diseases and stroke.


Healthy eating for infants and young children:

Their diet should be very similar to an adult's diet, bearing in mind the following:

- Breastfeeding only should last the first 6 months of the infants life.
- Breastfeeding should last continuously until 2 years of age.
- From the 6 months of age, breast milk should keep being offered until the 2 years of age, complemented by a variety of safe and nutrient dense foods (this is the introduction of the adults food with no salt and no sugars added).

If you found this interesting and would like to know more in detail how a healthy eating habit should be, let me know and I will make a further post about it.
Also any questions, I'm ready to answer.

How is your eating habit? Good, bad, could be better?

7 comments:

  1. Love this. I have changed my entire diet over the past two years mainly down to my illness. I have found some great ways to be healthy for little money too which helps so much. Plus there is nothing better than going to a fruit and veg shop and rumaging through :) love this post and will be an avid reader from now on :)

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    1. I'm so sorry about your disease. I totally agree about being able to enjoy the fruits and veggies when you go buy them.
      You actually made my day with your comment and I would like to thank you!
      It is great to know that there are great people out there, your personality over shines your disease! :D

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  2. I eat well according to the guidelines. I can't understand why people fall for the blurb about crash diets. On the other hand, I don't see the appeal of fast food like burgers. Give me real food any day.

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    1. Totally agree, real food any day!!! YAY!!!!

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  3. These are some great tips. I'm probably not completely following the guidelines all the time but I think I strike a pretty good balance the majority of the time.

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  4. Hmmm, some of this may be true, but I'm not convinced about butter and coconut oil being bad for you. If butter comes from grass fed animals it's meant to be good for you, even more so if cultured and organic - obviously not to much though.

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  5. This is a great post, but I also agree with Choclette Blogger above. Saturated fat has recently been proved NOT to be so bad after all. http://nicspirational.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/why-fat-doesnt-make-you-fat.html
    Anyway, I've just found your blog and enjoyed it so will be coming back :)

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