Over the past few years, I’ve taken a keen interest in nutrition as I realised that overall health and fitness is not just about training hard but also about eating the right foods.
Here are rules I try to live by with respect to nutrition.
- Whole-grains or their derivatives (wholewheat bread, pasta, etc.) in all meals, except those that include potatoes.
- Legumes every day but in smaller quantities than wholewheat cereals.
- One or two vegetable types in every dish (for example boiled broccoli).
- Between one and three fruits per day, preferably local and seasonal products (this doesn’t include packed or bottled fruit juices which are typically full of sugar). Eating fruit is preferable over juicing it, as in the latter process you lose almost all the fiber in the fruit, and the resultant juice has a high concentration of fructose.
- One lactose product per day, preferably fermented. I go with Greek yogurt for breakfast usually.
- Not more than one animal product per day (meat, fish, seafood, eggs), keeping in mind that as a general rule the animal product should be a complement to a base of vegetables and not the inverse as is typically the case with most dishes today.
- Fatty foods in moderate quantities, giving preference to vegetables and keeping a healthy balance between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.
- Keep refined foods to an absolute minimum (cereals, oil, sugar, etc).
The image above shows the food portions I aim for in every meal.
Apart from the actual contents of meals, I also try to keep the following two golden rules in mind:
- Remain frugal, which is easier when the above guidelines are observed as dishes will typically have a high content of fibre which helps one feel full and stay full longer.
- Chew properly to facilitate digestion and intake of the food’s nutrients.
Keeping these bases covered it’s quite easy for anyone to establish their own diet based on their location, physical activity and local supply of products.