Archive for Healthy Eating
Cut down on foods high in calories, fat and sugar.
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and pulses
Limit your intake of red and processed meat
Try to have 1 meat free day per week
Eat less salt
Do not use dietary supplements as a replacement for healthy food
Use the Food Pyramid to help you plan your meals every day
Make a food diary to stay on top of what you’re eating (use an App such as myfitnesspal or go to myfitnesspal.com)
Limit your alcohol intake
Aim for at least 30 minutes physical activity everyday
Keep weight within healthy BMI range – 18.5- 24.9 weight (kg) / height (m2)
Many types of cancer can be linked to being overweight or obesity; these include oesophagus, colorectal, breast, endometrium and kidney.
A diet high in red and processed meat may cause increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Sources: Oireachtas Report Feb 2013 and WHO recommendations
Elaine’s recipe this month is bursting with fl avour and immune-boosting antioxidants (it is an excellent source of beta-carotene and also a good source of vitamin C and fibre). Also, the following provides just 138 calories so it is also extremely low in calories and will help to keep you full for longer.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 6 garlic cloves (no need to remove outer skin)
- 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 9 small button mushrooms
- 9 Brussels sprouts
- 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil or a few sprays of lo-cal spray
- Half a pint of vegetable stock
- Pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
- Pinch of pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Place the vegetables and thyme in a roasting tin and lightly cover with your olive oil or lo-cal spray. Roast for 45 minutes, turning the vegetables occasionally until tender.
Serving suggestions: serve on their own as a snack or warming lunch, or as an accompaniment to a meat, fish or chicken dish.
Other ingredients: Although the above is a particularly delicious combination of vegetables, you could also use red onion, swede, turnip, parsnips, butternut squash or celeriac in this recipe.
“At Christmas time, we often turn to alcohol to celebrate the holidays, but remember to go easy as alcohol does no favours to your waistline,” says Elaine. “It is high in calories and provides little or no nutritional benefit. In fact, alcohol contains about seven calories per gram which means that, if you want to lose weight and reduce excess body fat, alcohol is not a good choice! You may be surprised at the calorie content of your favourite drinks!”
5 Alcohol Savvy Tips
“Many clients ask me ‘how can I cut down on booze at one of the most alcohol fuelled times of the year?’ It may actually be easier than you think – follow my tips to reduce your intake without feeling that you are depriving yourself.”
• Eat while you drink – or, better still, eat beforehand as food slows down the rate at which the body absorbs alcohol
• Dilute your drinks – water down white wine with soda to make a refreshing spritzer or add more mixer to spirits
• Choose wisely – opt for low calorie versions of your favourite drinks, such as low cal or ‘light’ beers or slimline mixers
• Start slowly – try to relax and sip your drink slowly – sit back and try to stay in control
• Pace yourself – sip on a glass of water in-between each alcoholic drink.
‘A little of what you fancy is good, a lot of what you fancy has a price’
1 mince pie with 1 tablespoon ofwhipped cream – 350 calories
70g slice of iced rich Christmas cake – 250 calories
5 Cadbury’s Roses or Heroes – 200 calories
30g (small handful) mixed nuts & raisins – 150 calories
2 satsumas – 50 calories
1 Banana – 80 calories
The Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly, recently announced changes to the food pyramid.
The top shelf of the pyramid has changed. It now focuses on typical foods and drinks from this shelf that contains approximately 100 calories and the need to restrict servings of these to a maximum of 1 per day.
Alcohol is now also included in the top shelf as it contributes calories to the diet.
There are also new guidelines on portion sizes and all advice is tailored to the Irish population for people across four age groups from 5 to 51+ years leading active and non-active lifestyles.
For more information, please visit:
Record everything you eat and drink in a diary
Plan meals in advance
Do not store unhealthy foods and snacks in the house
Eat before you become hungry
Do not go shopping on an empty stomach
Avoid fried foods
Use less butter or try low fat spread
Replace whole milk with low fat milk
Increase foods high in fibre, e.g. fruit, veg, pulses, brown rice, pasta and wholemeal bread
Eat a wide variety of foods
Drink plenty of water
Limit time spent in front of the tv/computer
Try to take regular exercise
Finally it is important to remember that losing weight takes time. Long term healthy eating habits are the best way to lose weight, crash diets tend to cause large weight loss but quick weight regain.
BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measure of body fat based on weight (kg) and height (m). Calculated by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in metres) squared. e.g. kg/m2.
In Ireland, 38% of the population is considered overweight and a further 23% are obese, this means that over half of the population are at risk of weight related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer amongst others.
Want to know your BMI? Check out our Body Mass Index Calculator here.
To make an appointment to discuss your weight loss needs and concerns, please contact your nearest Elaine McGowan Dietetic Clinic.
To lose 1lb of fat from our bodies we need to reduce consumption or burn off 3500 calories per week, this is 500 calories per day
Making simple changes to your diet can help you cut calories while still eating healthily
For example you could swap this baguette for a sandwich and save over 1000 calories!
Most of us don’t know what to look out for on food labels. Here are some easy guidelines to help you make healthier choices.
Did you know ?
The average daily calories needed for
- Children is about 1,800 calories a day,
- Women is about 2,000 calories a day,
- Men is about 2,500 calories a day.
Health Minister James Reilly has pledged to introduce legislation by the end of the year requiring every business that serves food to display calories on their menus, if they are not complying voluntarily.
Therefore we will be seeing more calorie information on food and drink displayed clearly and prominently at the point of choice for consumers. The calorie information should be clear and easily seen by the consumer before their choice is made. This will be displayed as calories per food portion such as 120 calories per slice of cake.
Calories may be displayed on a menu as calories, kcals or kcal, all mean the same and represent the amount of energy in a food portion or drink.
The World Health Organisation defined obesity as a disease in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent that health is adversely affected. Chronically overweight individuals face a number of serious health, social and psychological challenges with their quality of life being adversely affected. Obesity increases the risk of a person developing serious illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and strokes.
Obesity is a major public health challenge in Ireland and across Europe. Obesity rates for both children and adults are growing every year and according to a report of the National Taskforce of Obesity, “39% of adults are overweight and 18% are obese in Ireland”. The report also states that childhood obesity has become the most prevalent childhood disease in Europe. It is estimated that over 300,000 children in Ireland are overweight and obese and this is projected to increase annually by 10,000. A quarter of nine year olds are classed as overweight or obese. One in five children ages 5 to 12 is battling with his or her weight. The “Growing up in Ireland in 2009” study found one in four 9 year olds are overweight or obese.
The report notes the importance of balancing food intake with physical exercise. We know that foods high in fat, sugar and starch such as butter/margarine, cakes and biscuits and confectionary promote obesity. At the moment a fifth of Irish children’s energy intake comes from sweets, snacks and biscuits. It is now widely accepted that adults should be involved in 45-60 minutes and children should be involved in at least
60 minutes per day of moderate physical activity in order to prevent excess weight gain.
Elaine attended a recent conference on obesity held in Brussels, Belgium in April 2012 on Tackling Childhood Obesity in Europe: Comparative Perspectives on Prevention and Policy Implementation. According to the European Commission, some 22 million children in the EU are considered overweight or obese, with the numbers growing by 400,000 per year. A report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) showed that 13.3% of EU children aged 11-15 are overweight or obese, with numbers rising for boys in all countries.
The EU has a pivotal role to play in dealing with these challenges through its food safety, public health, education and research policies.
In Ireland, it was recently announced at the annual Irish Medical Organisation meeting that a school screening programme would allow for early intervention and regular monitoring to prevent the complications of obesity. If children have serious weight problems they may be referred to their GP and/or a Specialist. It has been proposed that screening would take place and children would be weighed when they start primary school in a bid to tackle Ireland’s growing obesity problem. This initiative is being proposed at present and we look forward to more work being done in this area.
This is a tasty simple recipe which is a low FODMAP recipe and suitable for those with IBS.
While following the low FODMAP diet, there are many ways to flavour your food by adding fresh herbs such as coriander, basil, parsley, rosemary or Soy, oyster and fi sh sauces are also suitable to use while following the low FODMAP diet.
Use these FODMAP vegetables and you have a very healthy low FODMAP meal.
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (preferably free range or organic)
- Grated zest and juice of 1 large lime
- 5 fl oz (150ml) tinned coconut milk (can be low fat)
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and fi nely chopped
- 1 dessertspoon Thai fi sh sauce
- 4 heaped tablespoons fresh coriander leaves
- 4 spring onions, cut in to 1 inch shreds (just the green parts, not white part)
- 1 bok choy, roughly chopped
- 1 dessertspoon olive oil
1. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl with the lime juice and zest. Stir well and leave them to marinate for an hour.
2. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat the oil in the pan or wok over a high heat, add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until they’re golden.
3. Add the chilli, stir-fry for 1 more minute, and add the coconut milk, fish sauce and half the coriander, spring onions (green part only) and bok choy.
4. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, and then serve with white, basmati or brown rice and the remaining coriander and chopped spring onions (green part only) sprinkled over the top.
You should not eat foods after their ‘Use By’ date, as they might not be safe to eat. Microbial changes take place in the
food after this time that can put your life at risk.
‘Best Before’ dates are slightly different. This is more to do with quality than safety. It means that the product is best eaten before this date. The flavour or texture may deteriorate after this date but it is not unsafe, with the exception of eggs.
‘Sell By’ or ‘Display until’ dates are used to help staff keepcontrol of stock – this is done by choice and is always in addition to ‘Use By’ or ‘Best Before’ dates.