General guidelines for healthy eating

What is the best diet to follow? Vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, Mediterranean, keto, the list goes on! Our nutritional needs are extremely individualised, and it is impossible to determine the one diet that suits everyone. I will not and cannot discuss specific dietary advice for any individual without first completing a comprehensive health assessment in a professional consultation setting. Read on for some generalised tips to improve your diet.

No matter what diet you choose to follow, I recommend you first obtain an ALCAT food intolerance and sensitivities test to find out what you are intolerant to, and to do your research and ensure you do not have any contraindications to the diet you are following.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) provide us guidelines on healthy eating (which can be found at https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/about-australian-dietary-guidelines).

The five food groups

  • Vegetables

  • Fruits

  • Grains

  • Meat and meat substitutes

  • Dairy

Vegetables

  • May reduce risk of cancer

  • Source of vitamin C, folate, fibre, phytonutrients

  • Aim for 5 to 7 serves daily

Vegetable serving sizes

  • A cup of leafy or raw vegetables

  • Half a cup of starchy or cooked green/orange vegetables

  • A medium whole vegetable (onion/tomato)

Fruit

  • May reduce the risk of cancer and protective against cardiovascular diseases

  • Enhances the immune system

  • Source of vitamins A/C/E, minerals (potassium/magnesium), fibre, phytonutrients, and water

  • Aim for 3 to 5 serves daily

Fruit serving sizes

  • 1 Medium sized piece of fruit

  • 2 Small sized piece of fruit

  • 1 Cup chopped fruit

Grains

  • Source of fibre, vitamins, minerals (vegetarian source of iron and zinc)

  • Aim for 4 to 6 serves daily

Grains serving sizes

  • 1 Slice of bread, crumpet or scone

  • Half a roll

  • Half a cup pasta, noodles, rice, quinoa, oats

  • Quarter cup muesli

Meat and meat substitutes

  • Includes lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans

  • Source of protein, iodine, iron, zinc, vitamins, vitamin B12, essential fatty acids

  • Aim for 1 to 3 serves daily

Protein serving sizes

  • The size of your palm to the first finger joint and one and a half the width of the palm

  • Nuts and seeds equivalent to your three middle fingers

Dairy

  • Includes milk, yoghurt cheese and/or alternatives,

  • Source of calcium, protein, iodine, vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12, zinc

  • Aim for between 2 to 3 serves a daily

Dairy serving sizes

  • 1 Cup of milk

  • Three quarters yoghurt

  • Half cup ricotta cheese, evaporated milk

  • Matchbox size hard cheese

Warmest regards,

                             Penelope Espinoza Hallett, Naturopath

                             BHsc (C.M.) AdvDip. Nat/N.D, Dip. Aroma, Dip. C.H., Cert. R.M., Cert. R.M., Cert. SBM, mNHAA