Skip the Fab Diets and Eat a Sustainable, Balanced Diet

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When I talk about a sustainable diet I do so because most diets cause you to cut out many foods that you always go back to, you desire them and in a way are addicted to them. Such foods include milk, bread, eggs and sugar. Some of these foods are really not good for you and often there are alternatives. These alternatives can make you feel satisfied if you just give them a chance while weening yourself off the foods that are not right for you. The first steps to change are always the most difficult and I see many people struggle in the beginning but once you have found foods that are right for you, then this type of diet really will be sustainable and satisfying to the palette and your body.

Creating a Nutritional Plan

All diets today are defined by the ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fats. Depending on the type of diet, it may advocate for more proteins, or fats, while low in carbohydrates. I believe, however, diets are too focused on losing weight and not enough on looking for a balanced nutritional plan that can enhance nourishing and healing.  Diets should be focused on foods that reduce inflammation and are high in antioxidants, such as a diet rich in vegetables and whole grains, which are in fact carbohydrates, and are more likely to keep hunger at bay. Important to also look at, is a diet with a low-glycaemic index, but high in fibre and nutrients. Therefore, you should aim for a diet rich in antioxidants, fibre and monosaturated fats, all of which are essential to protect from oxidative stress caused for example by certain foods, lifestyle and environmental pollution. In order to prevent inflammation, processed foods, refined flours and sugars, sugar, fatty meats or deep-fried foods should be avoided. Proteins derived from plants such as legumes are good protein sources and anti-inflammatory. Fatty fish and lean poultry are both good sources of protein and fats and high in omega 3. 

Soya, Nuts, Seeds, and Oils

If you are not intolerant to soya then soya has many beneficial characteristics. It plays a role in lowering cholesterol, it contains phytosterols which protect against heart disease and skin cancer as well as containing saponins which are antioxidants. Furthermore, genistein, an isoflavone found in soya, protects against developing leukaemia, cancer of the colon, breast, lung, prostate or skin cancer. Soya may also help with fertility and menopausal symptoms. Important however, is to always buy organic soya products, non-GMO and to avoid soya if you have any thyroid issues. 

Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein and fibre. They are high in calories so therefore perfect is you are trying to put on weight and they are an excellent source of healthy fats. Other fats and oils that most people consume are within the food they eat, like in prepared food or bakery goods. Avoiding such foods is the best method and using oils that are monosaturated as they then tend to be antioxidants and contain omega oils. Best examples are cold-pressed canola oil and extra virgin olive oil.

Making Your Own Diet Plan 

We are all different and no single diet plan will work for everyone. Some people will eat many small meals a day and other will find one or two meals a day works best for them. You also need to decide what ratio works for you. A higher carbohydrate intake with low fat (ratio 55/15/30 carb/protein/fat), or low carbohydrate, higher fate intake (45/25/30). The decision to chose one or the other is dependent on how you as an individual best burn calories. 

Looking at the higher carb diet, 55 percent of carbohydrates should be from whole grain, legumes and vegetables, 15 percent protein from beans, peas and lentils and 30 percent fat from fish, poultry, flaxseed, fish oil and olive oil. If you think you are not getting enough vegetable then try juicing them. Drink plenty of water and snack on some nuts if hungry.

A low carb diet contains about 45 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent protein and 30 percent fats. It is best to distribute your carbohydrate servings so as to avoid sugar or energy spikes. It is impossible to eat any exact percentage of calories precisely and therefore your intake will vary on a daily basis, and so it should as there is no hard and fast rule, but what is important is that you should enjoy your meals and make eating a pleasant experience. 

When creating a diet for yourself and perhaps your family be realistic with your goals. Find foods that you enjoy and a nutritional plan that you can stick to. You should aim for a plan that you can sustain as a standard for life, practice portion control and concentrate on quality.

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