Our standard North American diet is anything but balanced. Often when we think of balanced we think of such phrases as “everything in moderation.” While this phrase has great applications in other areas of life we need to stop using it in reference to food. There are some foods we need a LOT of, some foods we need SOME of and other foods we need very LITTLE of, if at all.
What should my plate look like?
LOTS of vegetables
SOME protein, fat and a healthy carbohydrate
LITTLE processed food, sugar and trans fats
Start by filling half your plate with vegetables. This could be a leafy green salad, steamed vegetables, raw vegetables or a mix of all three. Start by adding in the vegetables you like the most and then slowly introduce some new ones.
Next include a good source of protein. This could be chicken, beef, lamb, fish or a variety of other meats. You can also consume your protein from non-animal sources by including quinoa, rice and beans, nuts and seeds and many other vegetarian options. A palm sized portion of protein is a good place to start, although many men need 1-2 servings.
Now you need a source of healthy carbohydrates. You can achieve this by adding in whole grains, sweet potato, squash, rice and a variety of other sources. Most of us have inactive jobs and do not require the amount of carbohydrates that are currently in our diets. 1/5 of your plate will be enough for many people. If you have an active job, or exercise frequently, you may need to increase the amount.
Don’t forget a healthy source of fat! Fat will help keep you feeling full and satisfied. It is also important for regulating hormones and keeping your brain healthy! Try to include 1-2 TBSP of healthy fat in your meal. This can include avocado, coconut oil, flax seeds, olive oil dressing and many other sources.
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Eat Your Veggies!