Iso has got us eating *way* too much – and not always the healthiest foods, either. To take control of your eating habits, a dietitian shares exactly what you should be eating in a day.
Healthy eating is atop a lot of people’s minds right now, for obvious reasons. It’s pretty simple: in order to be the healthiest version of yourself, you have to feed your body the most nutritious diet you can (and don’t forget the importance of a regular sweat sesh or enough shut-eye, either).
Unfortunately, however, healthy eating isn’t as simple as it should be. Thanks to social media, unqualified wellness gurus and every man and their dog spruiking nutrition misinformation on the internet, many people’s perception of a healthy diet is rather misconstrued. I’d go so far as betting that a lot of what you’ve heard along the grapevine is actually incorrect, and could even be harmful if pursued long term.
Luckily, I’m here to enlighten you a little on what a healthy diet actually is, so you can be at the top of your game now and on the other side of this pandemic. You’ll be pleased to hear a healthy diet isn’t about copious amounts of expensive fad foods (goodbye acai powder), nor is it about ‘cutting out junk’ and saying adios to chocolate forever. A truly healthy way of eating is something in the middle of these two extremes.
So, let’s cut to the chase: what makes for a healthy eating pattern? Here’s three of my essential criterion.
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1. Inclusion of a variety of foods, in the right balance
In case you need a refresher, the five food groups are fruit, veggies, protein, grains and dairy (or alternatives). In order for your diet to be nutritionally adequate – and therefore to keep your body in tip-top shape – you need to eat all of these foods on a regular basis. Including your favourite treats is a-okay in small quantities and in moderation, too, because all foods fit in a healthy eating pattern.
2. A focus on plants
Fruit, veg, legumes (think: beans, chickpeas and lentils) and wholegrains (like rolled oats, brown rice and barley) should make up the foundation of your diet. These foods are incredibly nutrient-dense – they’re rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, gut-loving fibre and a range of protective antioxidants to ward off disease.
3. An even spread of lean protein and quality carbohydrates
Particularly pertinent to current #isolife, this will help to ensure your energy levels and mood are stable throughout the day. It’ll also keep you feeling fuller for longer, which means you won’t find yourself in the kitchen searching for food every other minute.
With these principles in mind, here’s what I’d call a perfect day of #iso eating. Before I dive in, however, bear in mind this is just one day, and I wouldn’t encourage you to eat this meal plan for days on end (that would break my number one rule above). Instead, think of it as a starting point for some healthy meal inspo to beat monotonous corona cooking. It’s a typical eating pattern I’d suggest for a female under the age of 50 – but for children, males and older adults, the ratios would be slightly different. Got it? Good.
Your perfect iso day on a plate
A bowl of porridge made with half a cup of rolled oats and milk, with natural peanut butter and a punnet of blueberries for flavour.
Canned tuna in a salad-packed wholegrain wrap, served with cherry tomatoes and baby cucumbers on the side.
Baked eggs made of three eggs in a homemade spicy tomato and capsicum sauce, served with a slice of wholegrain bread on the side.
- One homemade latte with light milk and a piece of fresh fruit
- One small tub of plain yoghurt and a cup of veggie sticks with hummus
- One cup of plain air-popped popcorn
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.