Eat Better to Feel Better
Published Saturday, 26 May 2012 16:44 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
We all know what we should not be eating, but there is often a grey area around what we should be eating. Make it easy and include the following steps in to your daily food intake and see the difference it can make to how you feel and look. It's never too late to start making changes to your diet!
1) Eat regularly. Going too long between meals can make you feel irritable and tired, so aim to eat something at least every 3-4 hours. If you are out and about carry a small tub of nuts (not salted!) and raisins to dip into when you feel sluggish.
2) Cut the junk. The ups and downs that come with eating sugary snacks and simple carbohydrates cause extreme swings in energy levels and mood. Avoid sugary carbonated drinks too - yes, even diet drinks - carbonate saps the calcium from your bones, leading to a decrease in bone density and osteoporosis. Drink water instead.
3) Focus on complex carbohydrates. Foods such as baked potatoes, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain breads, nuts and bananas boost your 'feel-good' serotonin levels without a crash. These foods also provide plenty of fibre, so you feel fuller for longer and your gut becomes more efficient at digesting food.
4) Don’t eat too much red meat. Red meat contains protein, an essential part of any healthy diet, but eating too much animal-based protein—such as the levels recommended in many low-carb, high-protein diets—is not recommended. The fat will be stored in your body causing narrowing and clogging of the arteries. Eating lots of protein can also cause calcium loss. Replace some of your meat dishes with a fish option instead. Salmon, mackerel or sardines are best.
5) Focus on whole, plant-based foods. Fill most of your plate with fruits and textured leafy green vegetables. Also include a variety of whole grains, beans, and legumes to give you fibre and keep you going throughout the day.