As mentioned, most of us eat way too little vegetables. Why are they important? Well, they’re low in calories, provide us with important nutrients (vitamins and minerals), and fiber (essential for healthy digestion). You should aim to consume about 400g (0.88 pounds). To make sure you get enough, reserve half of your plate for fruits and veggies. But always eat more veggies than fruits (fruits are considered high in sugar).
Make sure to add enough dark green leafy vegetables. They’re an excellent source of fiber, folate, and vitamins C and K. They also contain the green plant pigment called chlorophyll, which is said to act as a natural appetite suppressant. Spinach, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are great choices.
Something else that we seem to be getting less of these days, is fiber. This is mostly because we are eating more processed foods, which naturally contain less fiber. You should aim to consume about 30g of fiber a day. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system and plays a preventative role in many diseases. A quarter of your plate should be set aside for grains, legumes, and other wholegrain foods. Potato lovers will be happy to know that these tubers also make the cut!
The final quarter of your plate is reserved for protein. Make sure to include proteins like chicken breast, fatty fish like salmon, or any other lean meats (like beef or pork). Try to include fatty fish in your diet at least twice a week. If you’re vegetarian, you can eat tofu or meat-alternatives like Quorn products.
Although not technically part of the plate, chances are that you enjoy a drink with your meal. So what’s the best choice? Definitely not a soda! The best option is actually a small glass of milk. Not only do you get calcium, but also vitamin D, both of which are essential for strong and healthy bones.
Now you’re ready to pack your plate in the right and healthy way. No diet necessary!