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Diet & Nutrition

The 7 principles of healthy eating

If you look past the fads and the spin, what we should actually be eating is pretty simple and these seven principles have been around for a long time.

If you look past the fads and the spin, what we should actually be eating is pretty simple and these seven principles have been around for a long time.
1. Swap bad fats for good fats
Aim to eat less saturated fat (the kind in fatty cuts of meat) and trans fats (the hydrogenated kinds in commercial baked goods). Brush bread with olive oil or mashed avocado, try hummus and tahini for exotic meal additions and prepare food with good quality olive oil.
2. Have one vegetarian day a week
Beans, legumes and nuts can turn a meatless dish – for example, a thick lentil soup with chewy multigrain bread, or a stir-fry with almonds – into a satisfying and inexpensive meal.
3. Eat fish twice a week
Salmon and other fatty fish are rich sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but tuna – canned or fresh – is also good, and it's cheaper. If you don't like fatty fish, white fish can be just as good.
4. Put leafy greens on every plate
They are full of B vitamins, including folic acid, and fibre.
5. Go for wholegrains
Trade white flour products for varieties made with whole grain flour, often called whole wheat. Diets rich in whole grains have been shown to lower the risk of disease.
6. Eat fruit
Got a sweet tooth? Satisfy it with the most delicious fruit you can find. Apart from being high in fibre, fruit is also a great source of antioxidants such as vitamin C, which protects the body from damage to cells and tissues.
7. Kick the white habit
White rice, refined flour and refined sugars can easily be replaced by brown or wild rice, wholemeal flour and fruit. Choosing foods that provide a slow blood sugar response is a smart way to make sure you get the longer lasting energy you need. There are even low GI potatoes that are more slowly digested than regular potatoes and lower GI breads on your supermarket shelf.

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