Are  you confused about healthy eating guidelines? Are you struggling to include the ‘5-a-day’ that the government is recommending? Is ‘5-a-day’ even enough? Are you aware of how much of each macronutrient, i.e. carbohydrates, protein and fat, you should be consuming? Is it even necessary to count these macronutrients?

In this series of three blog posts I will be explaining three different healthy eating guidelines by three different organisations. These three healthy eating guidelines, or plate graphics with advice on what we should put on our healthy plates, are:

1) UK Government Eatwell Guide

2) BANT Wellbeing Guidelines

3) ANH Food4Health Guidelines

I will introduce each of these in a separate post, as well as give you my opinion of them. This is the last of the three posts, the other articles can be found here and here.

3) ANH Food4Health Guidelines

Healthy Eating Guidelines   Healthy Eating Guidelines

(click HERE and HERE to enlarge the pictures)

ANH, or Alliance for Natural Health, is an internationally active non-governmental organisation, promoting natural and sustainable approaches to healthcare worldwide. ANH guidelines are based on the following priorities for healthy eating:

  • Unprocessed
  • Diverse
  • Lower carb
  • High nutrient-density

There are two ANH plates:

1) Food4Health – for adults and children over 6

2) Food4Kids – for young children aged 1-6

ANH main message is: “Daily consumption of a diverse, varied and balanced range of fresh, largely unprocessed foods between ≥5h periods of fasting by day and ≥12h overnight (i.e. ‘intermittent fasting’), along with regular physical activity, is the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.”

For kids, ANH recommend that “kids eat 4 different food groups each day: starchy foods / fruit and vegetables / meat, fish, eggs, beans and non-dairy sources of protein / milk and dairy foods”

The ANH guidelines are not too dissimilar from the BANT guidelines that I introduced in my second post. The four ANH priorities – unprocessed, diverse, lower carb and high nutrient-density – along with the recommendation to include different colour vegetables and fruits (some of them raw), fermented foods, wild-caught fish and grass-fed meat, gluten-free grains, herbs and spices, as well as the recommendation for longer periods between meals and avoidance of foods that trigger allergy/intolerance (i.e. listening to your own body), are the exact advice I tend to give to my clients regularly. They are great principles to adopt, in order to follow a healthy eating plan.

My 4 Simple Tips

So… my recommendation is to either follow the BANT or the ANH guidelines for best guidance (instead of the government Eatwell Guide).

If you remember these simple tips, you will be doing a lot for your health without complicating healthy eating too much:

1. Stop counting calories that are marked on labels and instead start counting colours and nutrients of foods that don’t have labels:

  • Make you plates and bowls as colourful as possible with different types of vegetables, berries, fruits and/or spices. Eat colours at every meal, including breakfast and snacks. Remember to eat ‘a rainbow’!
  • Ditch packaged foods as much as possible! Whenever you choose to buy packages foods, read the label and avoid buying products that have a long ingredient list and contain ingredients you can’t pronounce or don’t recognise.

2. The more you include real food and vegetables in your diet, the less you have to worry about calories as these kinds of meals are generally lower in calories anyway:

  • Cook from scratch with fresh produce and ingredients rather than packaged food products.
  • Add herbs and spices to your meals for flavour and health benefits.
  • Order a veg box and visit ethnic food stores and start experimenting with new vegetables. Add one new vegetable, berry, fruit, herb or spice to your repertoire every week.
  • Keep your freezer stocked up with frozen veg, berries, fruits, fish, seafood and meats that can be defrosted for quick meals with some pre-planning. Freeze leftovers and prepare larger batches of meals for freezing to use on days when you have less time to cook.

3. Include protein and fat with carbohydrate foods to slow down the absorption of sugars from the carbohydrates, e.g.:

  • Yogurt (plain and full fat!) and/or nuts/seeds with cereals/porridge for breakfast. Add berries or fruits for colour and extra nutrients.
  • Eggs and avocado (and colourful vegetables) with bread/crackers for breakfast or lunch.
  • A dollop of nut/seed butter with a piece of fruit for snack.
  • Fish, seafood, meat, eggs or pulses with starchy carbohydrates, such as root vegetables, pasta or rice for dinner.

Avocados

4. Avoid products with added sugar and sweeteners:

  • Any more than 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams (or 2.5 grams per 100 ml in drinks) is high-sugar and should be avoided.
  • Ingredients have to be listed on the packaging in order of weight, so if you find sugar (or words such as sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, fruit juice, molasses, hydrolysed starch, invert sugar, fructose/glucose/corn syrup, honey) at, or near, the top of the list, the product is likely to be high in sugar.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks, even sugar-free ‘diet’ drinks, sweetened with artificial sweeteners, which have been shown to be harmful to our gut microbiome, potentially leading to weight gain. And they also keep us hooked on sweet tastes.
  • Dilute fruit juices with 3 parts water or avoid completely and instead drink water and herbal teas.
  • Make your own healthy treats with a small amount of natural sugars, such as fruits, honey, maple syrup or blackstrap molasses. Have a browse in my blog, and my Facebook and Instagram pages for simple meals, snacks and sugar-free/low-sugar treats.

What you put on your plate is one of the most important things you can do for your health, so take advantage of these tips and start creating colourful healthy plates for your meals. Your body will thank you for it!

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To get personalised advice and recommendations on how you can support your health with nutrition and lifestyle medicine, please get in touch to book your free 20 minute discovery phone call to learn how nutritional therapy can help you. 

Contact Minna on [email protected] or 07723932722.

  • 🎄Would you like to serve your festive party guests something a little bit different this year? 🎄Would you love to surprise your guests with something healthy, tasty and colourful instead of the dull beige processed party foods that you get from the supermarket? 🎄Then download my new ebook and get 5 simple but delicious healthy finger food recipes for your festive parties. 🎄Includes information on the health benefits of the ingredients used. ⏩Click link in bio for your own copy.⏪ #metawell #freeebook #ebook #healthyrecipes #partycanapes #pescatarian #healthyfingerfood
  • 😮😮😮😮 😀😀😀
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Morning peeps!
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Have a great weekend!
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❤️❤️❤️❤️ #haggis #spinach #brusselsprouts #eggyolks #breakfast #eattherainbow #greenleafyveg
  • Oh-My-God!! 🤤🤤🤤
. 🌰These are so yummy!
. 🌰Thank you @joromerofood for the inspiration to roast my own chestnuts.
. 🌰Sprinkled with a little bit of salt and eaten when warm, just pure heaven!!
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🌰Add a glass of a good red and your friday evening is sorted!🍷
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🌰 Also great served at Christmas drinks parties. 🎆
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#chestnuts #roastedchestnuts #pureheaven #fridayeveningfun #healthynibbles #christmas #christmasdrinks
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#ukhealthblogging #paleo #grainfree #glutenfree #ketogenic #plantbased #vegan #vegetarian #realfood #jerf #wholefoods #lowcarb #foodprepping #nutrition #whatnutritionistseat #nutritionblog #lifestylemedicine #functionalfood #functionalmedicine #healthyrecipes #healthyeating #weightloss #slimming
  • Haggis dinner! 😋
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🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿Roasted veg (onion squash, red onion, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, green lentils) soup, topped with organic haggis fried in ghee with shredded Brussels sprouts and chestnuts.
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🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿Haggis is made with lamb and beef offal (liver, heart and kidney), mutton meat, onions and oatmeal. Due to its high offal content, it's packed full of protein and many vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A, B12, iron, zinc, selenium, as well as CoQ10 and collagen.
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🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿My haggis came from Peelham Farm via @abelandcole and contains oatmeal, which is not gluten-free (most probably because it's been processed in a factory that also processes gluten containing grains) but there are GF versions of haggis in the market too.
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🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿We loved this meal, it was very tasty and very filling. I will be having some of the leftover topping for breakfast.
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🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿Have you tried haggis? If you live in 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 does it make a regular appearance on your plate?
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#haggis #howtousehaggis #creativecooking #roastedvegsoup #soup #dinner #nutrientdensemeals #burnsnight
  • This made my day: ❤️❤️❤️ After my self-care session today (an amazing facial with natural Tropic skincare products) I gave my lovely beautician Parminder (Revitali5e Beauty in Bracknell) some of my home made healthy treats. She really loved them and said 'don't pay me, make me some of these instead'. 😍😍 So now I've got an order from her to make two types of healthy treats for her and she took home all that was left on the plate. 😁

Providing a service doesn't always have to mean that money needs to change hands! 😊

#serviceswap #healthytrats #mademyday #selfcare #homemadetreats
  • Are you including bitter flavours in your diet? And why should you? 🥒Bitter foods are very useful for our bodies, due to the polyphenols and other plant chemicals they contain. 🥒These bitter compounds support digestion, by stimulating digestive enzyme and bile flow, and they also aid liver function. 🥒Polyphenols are potent antioxidants so they may protect against heart disease and cancer. 🥒Polyphenols are what the gut microbes like to munch on, so they help these friendly bugs do their important jobs better. 🥒Bitter flavours help reduce appetite and balance blood sugar. Eating bitter foods is a great way of reducing sugar cravings and re-educating your taste buds to be less reliant on sweet tastes. 🥒Most bitter foods are also rich sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals. 🥒So have I convinced you to start enjoying bitter foods more often? There is a lot of different foods to choose from: bitter gourd/melon (or karela as it's called in India, pictured here), green leafy and brassica vegetables, e.g. rocket, watercress, kale, radish, turnip greens, radicchio/chicory..., citrus peel, green tea and coffee, dark chocolate, to name but a few. 🥒Tonight was a curry night for us. I made a slow cooker lamb neck and aubergine curry (swipe) yesterday (curry is always best the next day!!), that I served tonight with some karela curry and Basmati rice.
Karela is prob one of the most bitter foods available, but with some clever cooking it's actually very tasty. My tip is to use something sweet to balance the flavours. Tonight I used one very ripe sharon fruit, chopped and mixed in at the end of cooking. I cooked the thinly sliced karela until soft with red onion, chopped garlic, grated ginger & turmeric, curry leaves and various spices. I was very happy how it turned out. 😊
  • My green breakfast.

Blended 1/2 avocado, 3 duck egg yolks, a small bunch of coriander, chopped, a splash of coconut milk, kelp powder and celery salt, then fried it in olive oil mixed with little butter. Topped with sautéed shiitake mushrooms and cavolo nero kale.

Very creamy and filling. 😋

What was on your plate this morning? Did you have breakfast or are your skipping it, perhaps intermittent fasting?

Have a lovely weekend everyone!
x

#breakfast #brunch #greeneggs #omelette #duckeggs #duckeggyolks #avocado #recipes
  • Lunch.

I've upped my intake of seafood recently, particularly oily fish, fish roe and fish liver.

I aim to get a good amount of DHA (a type of fish oil, crucial for brain health), in phospholipid form, from my diet, and dietary sources like fish and seafood contain this form. Most fish oil supplements contain DHA in either triglyceride or ethyl ester form and none in the phospholipid form.

If you want to know why I'm concentrating on getting more of the phospholipid DHA, you need to keep an eye out for a blog post, coming soon.

Today, I had a very simple lunch:
Scallop roes (or corals), sautéed in butter and garlic and served on a bed of spinach leaves and avocado. I drizzled over the garlicky butter from the pan and added a spritz of lime juice and a good glug of EVOO.

Recommended by Emma @paleoathome, I'm now getting my fish roes and livers from the @thefishsocietyeu. 
#fishoils #DHA #brainhealth #alzheimersdisease #dementia #fishroe #oilyfish #healthyfats
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#ukhealthblogging #paleo #grainfree #glutenfree #ketogenic #plantbased #realfood #jerf #wholefoods #lowcarb #foodprepping #nutrition #whatnutritionistseat #nutritionblog #lifestylemedicine #functionalfood #functionalmedicine #cooking #healthyrecipes #healthyeating #weightloss #slimming