Module 6 Healthy Eating

You, food and healthy eating

Healthy eating is essential to our daily functioning and our health and wellbeing now and in the future. As a parent, it’s often your role and responsibility to provide prepared meals and a healthy diet for the family. Planning and attending to your own food preparation, eating and drinking is important.

Evelyn discusses healthy eating here:

What is a healthy eating pattern?

Nutrition messages seem to change all the time and sorting out fact from fiction is difficult. The rise of unqualified influencers also mean that media includes not only messages from genuine peak bodies but also those that claim all sorts of magic associated with food.
How do you work out what is right?

First of all see if what is promoted makes sense? If the claim is outlandish and difficult it is probably not evidence based.

Then see who will make money from the diet- often expensive ( and odd) supplements or foods are promoted. They usually also have strange rules about what to eat and when or what you must never ever eat. This can actually cause health problems and make you feel both ill and guilty when you can’t stick to the weird rules.

Next you need to see what sort of claims are being made- frequently people who push fad diets seem to make amazing claims of success stories.

The most useful approach is to eat a varied diet, with moderate portion sizes and some exercise. This is linked with long term success in maintaining a healthy weight and attitude to food and eating as well as reducing risks of chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

Eating patterns should include foods from all of the food groups – that is vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy and meats or alternatives. Each group of food provides nutrients important for aspects of body functioning so a good variety is critical. One eating pattern that is described as being particularly linked with good health are traditional diets like the Mediterranean diet, based on a good variety of foods. In general this way of eating includes;

  • Lots of vegetables and legumes
  • Lots of fruit
  • Lots of grains like rice , pasta and wholegrain breads
  • Small amount of red meat
  • Fish and seafood at least twice a week
  • Small amounts of dairy foods as cheese and yoghurt
  • Healthy fats like olive oil and nuts
  • A little alcohol ( red wine) with meals
  • Occasional sweets, processed foods as treats.

This eating plan provides lots of vitamins, minerals , probiotics, phytonutrients, antioxidants and healthy fats as well as being anti inflammatory.

Entry last updated 22 January, 2020