To ensure each meal you eat is balanced and provides you with all of the macro and micro nutrients you need along with adequate energy, satiation and satisfaction, follow my tips to a balanced plate!
Sorry, I am not talking about apple pie here. Rather, you what to break your plate up into sections like a pie! At least half your plate at each main meal should consist of veg and/or fruit. One-quarter of your plate should be lean protein. Add a small serve of wholegrains or a starchy vegetable, for added soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, and to boost energy. Finally, add a drizzle of olive oil, a small wedge of avocado or a sprinkling of nuts or seeds. The below diagram is taken from Taste.com.
FRESH FRUIT: is packed with dietary fibre and rich in nutrients like vitamin C and potassium
VEGETABLES: keep you feeling fuller for longer, contain disease-fighting phytonutrients and are extremley low in calories
LEAN PROTEIN: assists satiety, helps prevent slumps in blood-sugar levels
WHOLEGRAINS/STARCHY VEG: provides soluble fibre and insoluble dietary fibre and boosts energy
GOOD FATS: keeps your heart healthy and you feel satisfied!
WHAT IS A SERVING?
Ahh, one of the most mysterious questions - and for a fair reason! Serves can be so confusing and
having too big/too little a serve can make a big different to you nutrient/calorie intake! Usually grains, fats and proteins are easy to measure as they can be weighed/measured in a measuring cup, though things like fruit and veg can be a little more tricky! Here is a breakdown of serving sizes of fruit and veg help you out!:
½ cup dense vegetables (such as beans, corn or peas)
1 cup leafy vegetables (salad greens)
½ cup cooked legumes (such as lentils, chickpeas or beans)
TIP: Eat a vegetable from each colour group (red, green, orange, white) every day.
1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
2 small apricots, kiwi fruit, mandarins or plums
1 cup berries
1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)
TIP: More is not always better with fruit – keep your total serves to 2-3 a day to prevent blood sugar levels from spiking