Eating a balanced diet is easy and tasty!

Eating a balanced diet is easy and tasty!

Posted by Hain Celestial on Jul 25, 2014 | A Healthier Way of Life

         Eating a balanced diet

There is one widespread popular belief about food that I want to debunk. There are no good or bad foods! Hard as it may be to believe, the food itself is not to blame for nutritional issues — rather, it’s how much and how often you eat it. Foods should not be stigmatized and made to bear full responsibility for our health or weight problems.

The key: listening to hunger and satiety signals

These days, healthy eating is, for many people, synonymous with eating light. Too often the message we convey is that food that’s good for your health should not be fatty, salty or sweet.  As a result, there is a misconception that regular foods should be replaced with “light” foods wherever possible. When making these kind of choices, it’s important to consider your needs and not just the energy value of the food. The caloric content of a product should not be the deciding factor in its consumption. The most important thing when eating is to respect your hunger and satiety signals at all times. If you know how to recognize those, you’ll have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight while eating delicious, tasty food.

It’s more about moderation than deprivation.

Your body maintains optimal health by extracting resources from the various nutrients, vitamins and minerals that come from food. It needs quality nourishment that meets all its nutritional needs if it is to operate at maximum efficiency. That’s why our diet should contain a variety of foods from the four Canadian food groups:

  • Fruits and vegetables: women (7–8*), men (8–10*)
  • Grain products: women (6–7*), men (8*)
  • Milk and alternatives: women (2*), men (2*)
  • Meat and alternatives: women (2*), men (3*)

*Number of recommended daily servings for an adult (19–51 years). The servings recommended for each of the four groups can vary depending on age, gender, level of physical activity, etc.

A winning strategy

The most important part of eating healthy is to always eat when you’re hungry. Skipping meals is strongly discouraged.

In June 2010, as part of its second report based on data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, the Institut de la statistique du Québec revealed that approximately 14% of children and teenagers in Quebec (nearly 20% among 9–18 year olds) skip at least one meal during the day. Unfortunately, skipping meals has nutritional consequences. Young people who make a habit of skipping meals consume less of several types of nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fibre, calcium and vitamins C and D) than those who eat three meals a day. For those who have trouble eating breakfast, nutritional smoothies are a satisfying, refreshing option and an interesting source of carbohydrates, fibre and protein. They’re delicious and couldn’t be simpler to prepare—there are as many smoothie recipes as there are kinds of fruits, so you can vary from day to day. You can ensure your smoothies are filling enough by supplementing them with protein sources such as yogurt, soy drink, egg or peanut butter.

One of my favourite recipes is the almond and banana smoothie.

-1 cup of Almond Dream® Enriched Original Unsweetened non-dairy beverage

-¼ cup of Maranatha® Roasted Almond Butter

-½ cup of Greek Gods® Honey Flavoured Greek Style Yogurt

-1 tablespoon of honey

-1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

-1 banana

-Crushed ice (optional)

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes one serving.

Charlotte Geroudet, RD

Charlotte Geroudet

Professional and dynamic, Charlotte Geroudet is a dietitian-nutritionist who actively contributes to communicating about and promoting healthy eating. With the public interest at heart, she shares her favourite finds and the latest on nutritional science via her magazine columns (5•15 and La Semaine) as well as through various collaborations as a blogger (Hain Celestial, Nutrition Québec, Divas en ligne, Canal Vie, Coup de pouce, etc.). Charlotte is also a nutrition columnist on radio; for four years now, she has regularly been invited to speak on different radio shows in Québec.

This nutritionist, columnist, consultant, blogger and speaker has made promoting the development of a simple, balanced diet her mission.