Start to Understand & Apply the Principles of the Australian Dietary Guidelines to your Long Term Health.
By Alia Steglinski (Bch Appl Sci Nutr & Food Sci), Personal Health Coach, Author of The Five Pillar System to a Healthy Mind and Body recipe book.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG) provide recommendations for healthy eating. Most importantly, the recommendations are based on the best available scientific evidence.
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating covers the 5 food groups and the recommended amounts you should eat every day. These include:
- plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/beans
- grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
- lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
- milk yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives
However we may ask here, what if i am vegetarian? Or “how can I eat dairy if diary doesn’t agree with me”? Or “I already eat these foods but can’t get rid of my binge eating & cravings that cause me to eat way more than I should”?
Everybody is unique. We are all different with different food needs and so we should give ourselves less pressure to “listen to nutrition recommendations” and more understanding on what complete nutrition or healthy lifestyle really means to us. We can start by understanding the ADG recommendations and putting them into simple terms.
The five principles of complete nutrition are CARBS, FATS, PROTEIN, FIBRE and WATER.
Principal 1: EAT A VARIETY OF YOUR FAVE CARBS!
(Wholesome carbohydrates that can come from: fruit, vegetables and grains.)
What does that mean? It means we can look to incorporate a variety of carbs that WE ENJOY as meals and snacks. Being from fruit, veggies & grains. We should choose to eat at least 3 serves of vegetables a day to ensure we get a variety of electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients.
Also, adding a variety of grains, fruits, even starchy veg like potatoes, especially when we are active, provide our bodies with substantial fuel to exercise and function.
Principle 2: EAT AT EACH MEAL PROTEIN AND QUALITY FAT.
What does this mean? It means we should look to include protein whether it be vegetarian based or meat based at each meal. Meat protein sources provide vitamins such as: zinc, iron, vitamin b’s. Omega 3 protein sources provide ESSENTIAL omega 3 fats.
We need omega 3 fats for a healthy heart and brain. Protein (all 9 amino acids) provides building blocks for building muscle and provide a more fuller feeling throughout the day. Meat and quinoa and chia seeds are complete in protein, whereas the vast majority of vegan foods on their own are not complete protein, that is why we need to eat a variety.
Dairy provides protein. Dairy protein helps increase our intake of calcium and vit d for bone integrity.
Principles 3-4: EAT 3-5 TIMES A DAY YOUR VEGES – THEY HAVE FIBRE THAT SHIFTS BILE ACIDS/FAT AND PROVIDE ESSENTIAL VITAMINS & MINERALS!
(Soluble and insoluble fibre- oats, veg, husks, grains, low sugar fruit)
Australians are just not getting their daily consumption of vegetables. We have been recommended to eat 5 servings of vegetable a day, however we are only getting half in. Vegetables are anti-inflammatory, help shift bile acids and cholesterol out of the body and provide phytonutrients to help us thrive. Studies show that eating daily veggies can help fight off CVD (Cardio Vascular Disease), diabetes and some cancers (1).
Principle 5: DRINK WATER TO OVERCOME OVER EATING OR BINGE EATING!
(Filtered or mineral water, up to 2 litres a day, more if you are active or emotionally stressed).
Usually when we are not physically hungry we are in fact emotionally eating. We eat to fill a void or in response to feeling stressed, bored or any other emotion. Even happiness or during celebration. Food should not be used to help curb emotions or be eaten when not hungry.
Eating when we are not hungry makes our body eat way more calories than needed. We can break this habit by incorporating water not only because our bodies need it to function adequately but because we may be thirsty rather than hungry when experiencing emotional hunger.
So how can we apply these principles now to our daily eating?
- Create at home meals that have these macronutrients- carbs, protein and quality fats. Whether you are vegetarian or have intolerances we need to find ways to incorporate these nutrients as foods or if need be supplements to support your bodies growth.
- Overcome emotional/boredom/stress eating or drinking. We can do this by knowing that we have a choice each time we feel the pull to over eat or reach for the processed snack foods. Choose to drink water first and see if the craving goes away. Then eat a snack that is something wholesome ie fruit, carrot sticks, natural yogurt. If still hungry then go for a complete nutrition meal (remember fats, carb, protein) such as a wholegrain salad turkey/egg sandwich.
- Write down which foods agree with you. Writing down the foods you can eat from carbs, proteins and fats, will create an awareness of what to shop for and allow your brain to register the foods it does love that is complete in nutrition. Create a new habit and natural increase to the amount of your wholesome food intake.
Want more information on how to eat balanced and lose weight without dieting? Book a free consultation with Accredited Nutritionist and Personal Health Coach Alia https://calendly.com/phcsessions/nutr-discovery-call-alia
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