Health

Best-kept nutrition secrets

nutrition secrets

Feeling better in your clothes and having more energy could be as simple as making a few minor changes to your eating habits, says accredited nutritionist Caitlin Reid.

Getting healthy doesn’t have to mean making drastic lifestyle changes and giving up your favourite foods. Some of the biggest health benefits can come about by making small changes that suit your lifestyle. Here are the five best-kept nutrition secrets you should add to your diet.

1. Power up with protein: Be sure to include protein at each meal and you’ll feel fuller and eat less at your next meal. Protein boosts feelings of satiety more than carbohydrates or fat, helping to control hunger levels. A higher protein intake can also help to preserve lean muscle mass at the expense of fat mass. Protein also helps you feel less deprived when you are following a kilojoule-restricted eating plan.

2. Cut portions by a quarter: Reducing your meal portions by 25 percent reduces kilojoule intake by 10 percent and you won’t feel hungrier either say US researchers. American researcher Brian Wansink calls this the mindless margin — it’s the margin or zone in which we can either slightly overeat or slightly undereat without being aware of it. The mindless margin is about 420-840kJ. When dishing up your meal, take a quarter less than what looks like a reasonable amount.

3. Eat at the table: Any time you eat, sit down at the table and concentrate on the meal or snack rather than everything else around. Too many of us eat in front of the television, at our desk or in our car, but these behaviours make it more likely that we will overeat. Get back in tune with your hunger by sitting down and eating your meal slowly — that way you’ll be less likely to overeat.

4. Sip green tea: Green tea is the perfect health-promoting beverage. Research shows green tea can help keep as alert, yet relaxed; it can help reduce dental caries; and improve blood vessel function, promoting heart health. Drinking green tea in between meals can also help reduce the amount of snacking you do, thereby helping with weight management.

5. Eat your favourite foods: Healthy eating is not about deprivation, it’s about learning to eat the right foods in the right amounts. Depriving yourself of the foods you love makes it more likely that you will overindulge when you do let yourself eat these. With your favourite foods practice moderation — eats small amounts, occasionally. When you do eat them, make sure you sit down and enjoy them.

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