How To Create a Healthy Plate

Understanding what you should be eating to support your body is one thing, but knowing the portion, and how to construct your plate is a whole other thing. 

Within my clinic I work a lot with educating my clients on portion control and plate construction. I want to add that whilst I do not focus on calories, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding on the energy content within certain macronutrients. Using your hands is a great guide when it comes to portion control. This is because your hands are proportional to your specific needs. 

1/2 the plate ( 2 cupped handfuls) should be filled with non- starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, spinach, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, salad, asparagus, herbs & spices ect. These contain a large array of minerals, nutrients, antioxidants, fibre and phytochemicals which are vital. These foods do not contain huge amounts of calories/energy. 

2/3 plate Protein ( flat hand) such as beans, legumes, meat, tofu, low fat dairy & dairy alternatives. Proteins are the building blocks for the new tissues and the repair of the bodies cells. They are also needed to make enzymes, hormones and antibodies. Protein is also what helps promote satiety, so if you constantly feel hungry I would be looking at if you are getting enough protein into every meal/snack you have.

1/3 plate starchy Carbohydrates ( 1 cupped handful) such as grains, pasta, quinoa, buckwheat, rye, spelt, bread & whole grains. Carbohydrates play an important role for the brain and central nervous system as well as being our bodies preferred source of fuel. Slow releasing carbohydrates such as whole grains and starchy vegetables take the body longer to break down and digest. This helps to prevent spikes in your blood sugars levels and keep your energy & mood stable.

1 thumb sized portion of fats - 1tbsp. tahini/nut butter, 1/4 cup nuts, seeds, 1/3 avocado, 1tbsp. coconut oil. 1-2 tbsp. olive oil. Fats are essential. They help make up part of the structure of cell membranes, your brain tissue, bone marrow and cushion your organs. They also play an essential role in building healthy hormones. Poly unsaturated and mono unsaturated fats are amongst the most health promoting fats which include essential fatty acids EFA that need to be obtained through the diet) You can read more about fats here https://www.rootedliving.co.uk/blog/why-fat-doesnt-make-you-fat

Fruit - Fruit not only contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but also contains fibre all of which as vital for a healthy gut, immune supporting and overall health. I would be looking at eating around 2-3 portions of fruits per day. Varying the fruit you eat and opting for tarter fruit such as red berries, peaches & plums will help to prevent blood sugar spikes, or pairing fruit with some nuts or seeds ( high in protein) will help to slow the release of sugar. 

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Note: Every person is unique, and there will be certain groups that may need to adjust there meals/portions to eat more. If you are worried please get in touch.