New Year, Same (Great) Nutrition Advice

It’s the beginning of a new year — an ideal time to think about setting new health and nutrition goals to boost your inner strength.

Not surprisingly, it’s also the time when we’re all bombarded with advice about what we should or should not eat, from the latest trendy grain to even cutting out whole food groups.

However, sometimes the best advice is the simplest. When it comes to nutrition, a well-balanced diet is key to your emotional and physical health.

Here’s a reminder of the core nutrition principles that have stood the test of time.

Fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are jam-packed with nutrients, so try to eat at least five portions a day. If they’re frozen or canned, make sure they’re in water or natural juice, with no added sugar or salt.

Protein

Protein is really important for building and repairing tissue and can be found in both animal and plant sources such as meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans and peas. Aim for around 5oz a day.

Grains

Grains are not only a great source of energy, many also contain fiber and nutrients. In fact, they should make up just over a third of everything we eat. As well as cereal, make sure you’re getting brown rice and wholemeal bread into your diet.

Unsaturated fat

Unsaturated fats can replace the saturated fats found in your current diet as they may contain essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. Choose oils such as olive, peanut, sunflower, flaxseed and canola. When selecting fats, aim for more unsaturated options that can be found in avocados, nuts, seeds and seafood.

Dairy

Dairy includes cheese, milk, yogurt and alternatives like soy milk, all of which are good sources of protein and nutrients. It’s best to choose fat-free and low-fat versions, and aim for about 3 cups a day.

 

Saturated fats and trans fats

Cut back on saturated fats and trans fats as they can raise cholesterol levels. Saturated fats can be found in fatty cuts of meat, hard cheese, sausages, pies, palm oil, coconut oil, cookies and cakes. Trans fats can be found in fried foods, cakes, cookies and hard margarines.