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 second of the three posts, the last article, detailing the ANH Food4Health Guidelines, as well as my 4 simple tips for what to put on your healthy plate, will be available soon. The first article on the government Eatwell Guide can be found here.

2) BANT Wellbeing Guidelines

Healthy Eating Guidelines   Healthy Eating Guidelines

(click HERE and HERE to enlarge the pictures)

BANT, or British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy, is the professional body I belong to as a registered nutritionist and nutritional therapist. BANT Wellbeing Guidelines are based on the latest evidence and on the notion that every individual is unique and no one diet is right for everyone. BANT guidelines provide a good basis for healthy lifestyle when personalised advice in not possible.

There are two BANT plates:

1) The Wellness Solution (general advice for those with no specific health conditions)

2) Fight the Flab – Beat the Bloat (more specific guide for those wanting to lose weight or suffering from digestive issues)

As you can see, on both plates, vegetables cover most of the plate. Leafy greens and salad vegetables have their own quarter and other non-starchy veg another quarter, together making up half the plate. Root vegetables are grouped together with wholegrains, together taking up a quarter (‘Wellbeing Solution’) or slightly less than a quarter (‘Fight the Flab’). Fruit is not included directly on the plate but as an additional circle, with the advice being 1-3 portions a day in the ‘Wellbeing Solution’ and max. 1 portion in the ‘Fight the Flab’. There is also a limited amount of dairy in the ‘Wellbeing Solution’, but not in the ‘Fight the Flab’.

What’s good about the BANT Wellbeing Guidelines:

  • Two plates for different purposes/goals. We are all unique and different, and there is no one perfect diet for everyone but personalised/individualised advice is always the best.
  • The general advice to ‘Eat a Rainbow’. Colourful diets provide a wide array of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibre – all crucial for good overall health, gut health and weight management. BANT has also published a ‘Eat A Rainbow’ graphic here.
  • Own section for leafy greens. Leafy greens should be part of most, if not all meals due to their wide array of powerful health-promoting nutrients. They can aid the digestive and detoxification function, promote cardiovascular and eye health, speed up weight loss, fight cancer and much much more.
  • The low proportion of grains. Both plates recommend mostly gluten-free grains, with limited amount of bread and pasta only mentioned in the ‘Wellbeing Solution’, with a note that they raise blood sugar in a similar way to sugar. This is the reason why these foods are not even mentioned in the ‘Fight the Flab’, since good blood sugar control is so crucial for weight loss.
  • Recommendation to use olive oil and butter (rather than vegetable oils as in the government Eatwell Guide). In my opinion, this recommendation could be further improved by including coconut oil and ghee for high-temperature cooking due to their high smoke point and the beneficial compounds they contain – lauric acid in coconut oil and butyrate in ghee.
  • Recommendation to avoid sugary drinks, including fruit juice, and artificial sweeteners. Even freshly squeezed fruit juice can have a negative effect on blood sugar, due to the high sugar content of many fruits and the removal of fibre during juicing. If you are having fruit juices, dilute them with water (at least half-half, ideally even more) to lessen the blood sugar spike. Artificial sweeteners are no better either, they trick the brain into thinking that it’s getting sugar (and calories) when it’s not. This creates a mismatch of physiological signals, when the brain’s reward circuits don’t register that calories have been consumed, so our bodies keep asking for more. Eating sweetened foods regularly also numbs our taste buds so the more we consume, the more we want, and the same quantity will not be enough to satisfy us, so we start to crave sweeter and sweeter foods.
  • Inclusion of lifestyle tips, such as sleep and exercise. Diet is only one part of good health management. Our lifestyle, and particularly sleep quality and physical activity, as well as stress management, mind-body practices and community, are crucial to our overall health and can affect how our bodies react to the foods we eat.
  • Recommendation to avoid snacking. Many people only go for very short periods without food, so their digestive system is constantly working hard, with only few short breaks from eating during the day and while sleeping. Reducing snacking to a minimum and giving the digestive system a rest can have a dramatic effect on health. 4-5 hours between main meals and 12-16 hours overnight with no food and calorific drinks is ideal, as is eating and drinking nothing (except water or non-sweetened herbal tea) for 3-4 hours before bed. Fasting stimulates many “housekeeping” functions in the body, such as clearance of residual undigested food and bacterial/foreign debris from the digestive system, and clearance of dead, diseased and worn-out cells from the rest of the body. These functions are vital for well-functioning digestive and immune systems as well as for healthy ageing and long healthy life.
  • Inclusion of supplementation. Most people would benefit from some form of supplementation but which supplements and how much to take is not something an untrained person can judge easily. Furthermore, most supplements you can buy on the high street are often low quality and contain a lot of additives, sweeteners and bulking/anti-caking agents. BANT is – naturally – recommending that people see a qualified nutrition professional, who can advise on best quality supplements and ideal dosing, as well as recommend testing, in order to get hard data on what’s going on in the body and to see which functions may need extra support from supplementation.

The last post in this series will discuss the ANH Food4Health Guidelines.

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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