Eating Well, Eating Right
Most of us would fondly remember the food pyramid being taught to us in schools, but with more scientific studies and research conducted on food and nutrition, the Health Promotion Board launched its new My Healthy Plate in 2014, to reflect the significant changes in its nutrition recommendations.
An Emphasis on Wholegrains
Previously, it was the norm for carbohydrates (specifically, white rice, which is a refined grain) to take up the bulk of the plate – however, recent research has shown that we tend to overconsume refined carbohydrates, which converts to glucose in our bodies. This high sugar diet is stressful on the liver and raises our blood sugar levels, leading to a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and nerve problems. As recommended by HealthHub, a healthy plate should be 25% carbohydrates (preferably whole grain), 25% meat or other protein sources; and 50% fruits and vegetables.
Particularly for pregnant women who may be at risk of gestational diabetes, reducing intake of carbohydrates and other foods high in sugar is critical.
Children are instinctively, better intuitive eaters than we are – they can naturally sense when they need certain food groups more, to accommodate their needs through growth spurts and certain developmental leaps.
The Definitive Grocery List
In line with the latest nutritional guidelines, our experts at mumsclub have collated a list of the best, most nutrient dense foods from each category to help you grocery shop!
Don’t be alarmed at how short it is – we’ve only narrowed down the top sources of essential vitamins and minerals. This list serves as a heavily simplified guide to help you take note of what may be missing from your family’s current intake. For example, chicken is a great source of protein, but is not included in the list – this in no way means you should give it up! That said, substituting chicken for other more nutritious proteins 2 – 3 times a week may be something you may wish to consider.
Why not just rely on multivitamins?
Numerous studies have shown that naturally occurring vitamins and minerals obtained from food is better absorbed by the body than vitamins synthesized in supplements. Food is a complex source of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, all of which work together in tandem, while a supplement is a standalone item. In addition, some multivitamins, especially those targeted at children, contain a lot of added sugars and may result in accidental over-consumption of certain vitamins and minerals, which can be problematic.