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To feel embarrassed that I am not sure what a healthy diet really is?

(38 Posts)
Feckadeck Fri 03-Jan-14 08:26:11

I know it's not takeaways, crisps, chocolates, cakes, microwave meals, fizzy drinks, processed foods (though bit iffy on what actually constitutes processed foods!) I do know that it should include 5 a day fruit/veg, brown rather than white rice/pasta/breads, water, etc. After that I am stuck. Read few threads on diets here (guess IABU to start a new diet thread!) and see discussion that low fat isn't great and full fat would be better, then there is confusion over sugar content of food.

Am I alone in finding it too confusion and not knowing where to start with being healthy. I am overweight by at least 3 stone as is DH and I desperately want our child to have a better understanding and relationship with food than we might have. It seems a minefield though. There I was thinking I would give them the occasional angle delight as a desert as contains lots of milk and I've just read it is crap. Am I destined to be outcast for serving sausage rolls at dd future birthday parties (DH loves them grr) or giving them fizzy drinks occasionally?

I feel embarrassed not to know how to eat well...or rather feel embarrassed that I think eat well,but am realising slowly that I might not be!

sisterquestion Fri 03-Jan-14 09:30:24

I think a great place to start is Dr. John Briffa's "Escape the Diet Trap". He talks through each food group with all the pros and cons for each. Really worth reading - focus on weight loss AND improving health at same time. He is very critical of diets that help you lose weight but are detrimental to health.

As to start with as others have alluded to - avoid processed foods. Less sugar more protein.

Motherinlawsdung Fri 03-Jan-14 09:42:48

I agree that it's confusing, but there are some simple rules that you can follow which will help. The first is portion control. When I was a child the standard amount of meat per person in a meal was 4 ounces. That is about 110 grams. Contrast that with what people expect to see on their plates now. Fizzy drinks were only for parties, kids drank milk or water the rest of the time and adults drank tea. I don't understand the science but I am convinced that even low fat fizzy drinks are really addictive and fattening. In case I sound like I think the past was better than today I would add that the advantage of living today is the vastly improved range of inexpensive vegetables readily available in cheap supermarkets and ethnic grocers. OP if you reduce portion sizes and sugar consumption, cut out fizzy drinks, and eat loads of veg you will be well on the way to a good diet.

fatlazymummy Fri 03-Jan-14 09:45:18

Well, I am pretty healthy and I tend to follow the NHS diet. Plenty of fruit and veg, some protein,some carbs, and a little fat. Easy on the cakes/sweets/crisps, and no takeaways, alcohol or fizzy drinks (I just don't like these things, but if I did I would have them as a treat.
As for exercise ,as a minimum try and walk a bit more rather than driving everywhere, then find something physical you enjoy and do that for a couple of hours per week.
It's really just basic common sense. Everyone knows that veg is good for us, and deep fried mars bars or large deep pan pizzas are going to make us fat if we eat them every day.

brettgirl2 Fri 03-Jan-14 09:45:55

Well quite mcpie. I'm not actually overweight though....... so I posted and all of a sudden the focus was switching from healthy diet to weight.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Fri 03-Jan-14 09:59:14

I am thinking of getting this plate, it should help with portion control.

Betrayedbutsurvived Fri 03-Jan-14 10:19:12

This blog is excellent, really explains
In simple terms why certain things are bad. Loads of recipes etc too, and tons of stuff on getting fussy kids and partners on board too.

Borntorun25 Fri 03-Jan-14 10:24:25

YANBU to be unsure about it, so many food manufacturers are trying to push low fat/ low sugar/ 'natural' additive versions of food products.
Keep it simple, lots of veg, fresh chicken/ fish/ meat and a carb, eg pasta/rice/bread as the basic meal plan. I really don't enjoy cooking but you can do quick simple meals with above. I mix whole grain pasta and white pasta half and half, they cook in same pan and take same time, we find all whole grain a bit unpalatable but half and half is fine.
I use butter and full fat cheese/ yogurt as they taste much nicer but in small quantities. Don't sweat the low fat/ low sugar options or treats, if your basic diet is simple and fresh a small amount of whatever is fine.
YY to portion control, most of us eat way more than we need.

And don't forget regular exercise, just 30 mins brisk walking a day, even split into smaller bits will make a huge difference. When mine were little we couldn't walk at any great pace so I played tig with them in play parks, I got over the initial embarrassment and they absolutely loved running around with mum trying to catch them. Brilliant workout!

IndridCold Fri 03-Jan-14 10:41:31

Agree that to have a healthy diet you need to avoid processed food and cook from fresh. Forget angel delight as an occasional treat, have banana and (a good brand, dairy) ice cream instead.
I find that supermarket magazines and recipie cards have lots of ideas if you are not a confident cook. Or, failing that invest in The Gospel according to St Delia.

tinselledUp Fri 03-Jan-14 10:41:59

Portion size wise - if you have smaller plates and bowls you eat less. I've seen that on diet/food programs. We started using the side plate to the dinner set rather than the main plates and its an easy way to keep portion sizes down.

Soup - keeps you full for longer - than the same food not made into soup.

Plus cooked food can be more nutritious than raw food - they looked at cooked vs uncooked carrots and more nutrients came out of cooked.

That was all on some horizon program about food and digestion but dieting. It is difficult cause healthy eating and dieting do seem to get mixed up a lot.

But YANBU - it can seem confusing at times there can seem to be some much information and I'm not sure how true some of it is.

specialsubject Fri 03-Jan-14 11:00:43

the low-carbers often don't know their basic science. Carbohydrate is a scientific term.

you want to have about 40% complex carbs in your diet - slow release for energy. wholemeal bread, pasta, rice, spuds and veg.

you want to minimise the simple carbs which are just sugar. Cakes, biscuits, sweets. Obvious treats.

lots of veg - can't overdose on that. Some fruit (it is sugary but also has vitamins). Some dairy, some protein, a little fat.

no fizzy drinks - toilet cleaner with added sugar. Kids drink milk or water. No diet foods (con), low-fat foods (Con - added sugar; just eat less of the full fat stuff). Minimise the processec crap- ready meals, anything that sells non-refrigerated in Poundland..

don't obsess. Don't fast. Don't skip meals. Don't pay anyone for eating advice.

DropDeadThread Fri 03-Jan-14 11:15:13

But special, most people do not eastcomplex carbs. And most of us are sedentary so have no need for a diet designed to fuel a moving body.

DropDeadThread Fri 03-Jan-14 11:16:05

*eat complex

Mashed or peeled boiled potatoes are not complex carbs.

Joules68 Fri 03-Jan-14 14:07:20

dropdead speaks sense!

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