For women’s month, we have Jessica Kotlowitz, aka @the_green_dietitian from our #FoodLoversCo, chatting LIVE on Instagram every #WellnessWednesday about nutrition for women. From general healthy eating tips for women, fad diets, to eating for hormonal balance, skin health & PMS, and any other questions you may have. Join in on Instagram every Wednesday in August.
Here are her 5 simple tips for women to living a healthy lifestyle:
1.Get in your 5-a-day.
All health professionals agree that fruits and vegetables are essential to good health and disease prevention. A serving of fruits or vegetables is equal to about 1 small fist size or 1 cup and we should all be aiming to eat a minimum of 5 servings a day. Whether you eat your vegetables and fruit raw, cooked, frozen, dried or tinned, the most important thing is to ensure that you are consuming these phenomenal nutrient-powerhouses each and every day. And no, contrary to popular belief, fruit is not a source of added sugars and does not need to be limited.
2. Choose a source of lean protein at every meal.
Not only is eating sufficient protein essential to good health but it also helps with muscle recovery, blood sugar control and helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer which can lead to less overeating in the long run. Lean proteins include low-fat dairy, skinless chicken, lean meat, white fish, beans, chickpeas, lentils, and soy products. No matter which kind of diet you choose to eat, make a point to include some plant-based proteins such as beans, chickpeas, lentils or soy products in your diet at least 3 times per week. These nutrient-rich proteins are packed with vitamins and minerals and can help to prevent diabetes and heart disease.
3. Limit added sugars and sugar-sweetened foods.
Added sugars include brown or white table sugar, honey, syrup and jam and can be found in sweetened cool drinks, sweets, sweetened pastries, chocolates, desserts and fruit juices. Added sugars are usually low in nutrients and can lead to weight gain and blood sugar spikes if we eat too much of them. Whilst we all love good chocolate or koeksister once in a while, these foods should be reserved as a once-in-a-while treat if we want to keep our health in tip-top form.
4. Don’t fall for fads.
Fads are fashionable diets or nutritional supplements that promise quick results but that have no real scientific evidence to back them up. Not only do fads not work in the long run but they can actually compromise your health by leading to nutrient deficiencies, unhealthy obsessions with food and dieting and rebound weight gain. Some fad supplements can contain harmful ingredients, lead to heart palpitations, have excessively high doses of nutrients or induce diarrhea. If you are looking to lose weight, rather follow a healthy balanced diet and make small sustainable changes over time and always check with your doctor or dietitian before taking any supplements.
5. Be time smart.
Eating healthier can be time-consuming and if you live a fast-paced life, it may be easier to just eat take-aways and convenience foods to stay fueled throughout the day. However, it is possible to eat a healthy diet without losing too much of your valuable time. Consider meal prepping or batch cooking to cut down on cooking time during the week. Choose pre-cut or frozen vegetables to cut down on chopping time. Look for healthier convenience foods, ready-made meals and snack options and choose simple time-efficient meals wherever possible. Something as easy as some whole-grain crackers with pre-made hummus, sliced tomato and some avocado can make for a healthy balanced meal in minutes.