Health

An introduction to UK healthy eating guidelines bowl of vegetable salad and fruits

  • UK food based dietary guidelines look to turn evidence-based scientific knowledge and government recommendations on foods, nutrients and health into simple messages to help consumers make informed choices about the foods, drinks and dietary patterns that promote good health.
  • Food groups and foods/drinks that are sources of nutrients of public health importance when consumed in excess (like free sugars, salt, saturated fatty acids) or in insufficient amounts (e.g. dietary fibre) are considered.
  • Guidelines aim to be appropriate for the majority of the population, culturally acceptable and practical, as well as easy to understand.

What is the history of models for healthy eating guidelines in the UK?img_9199

Around 20 years ago, in 1994, the UK’s national food guide, the Balance of Good Health was launched as a model to define the government’s advice on a healthy, balanced diet. It was revised under the Foods Standards Agency and renamed the ‘eat well plate’ in 2007, and has been endorsed by the Departments of Health and Education in England; by the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and by the Northern Ireland Executive. The responsibility for the eatwell plate transferred to Public Health England in April 2013.image

The eat well plate was a visual representation based on five food groups and showed the proportion that each food group should contribute to a healthy, balanced diet. The plate has been supported by further advice, the ‘Eight tips for healthy eating’. The guidelines were applicable to most of the healthy population. However it does not apply to those under 2 years of age, with children from the age of 2 to 5 gradually moving to eating foods in the proportions shown on the eatwell plate.

Why change the eat well plate?image

In 2014 Public Health England established an external reference group to consider the potential impact of new dietary reference values on the eat well plate in light of, the then draft, conclusion and recommendations  of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition’s Carbohydrate and Health report.

In 2015 the new recommendations for free sugars (no more than 5% of dietary energy) and fibre (an increase to 30g a day for adults), as well as the recommendation that the dietary reference value for carbohydrates be maintained at a population average of approximately 50% of total dietary energy intake, were accepted. PHE sought to ensure, as part of its role in promoting evidence based public health, that guidelines were aligned with delivery of a diet consistent with these new recommendations.

What are the main dietary messages of the new Eatwell Guide?

  • Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates; choosing whole grain versions where possible.
  • Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks); choosing lower fat and lower sugar options.
  • Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily).
  • Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts.
  • Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day.
  • If consuming foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar have these less often and in small amounts.

 

 

Juicing for Health

Juicing is one of the best ways to get vital nutrients into your body and this is especially important from the moment you decide to conceive and all the way through your pregnancy.   By juicing every day you’ll ensure both you and your baby receive a huge dose of goodness while making you feel amazing at the same time- both inside and out.   Juicing your fruits and vegetables preserves those vital enzymes which are often diminished during the cooking stages

Digestive Health during Pregnancy

So, if like me and countless other women out there who are suffering with constipation or just feeling a little sluggish; please give Linseed a go before reaching for the shop brought fibre supplements.  Just remember to drink plenty of water with them and of course if you’re suffering from any bowel issues such as diverticulitis then avoid and of course, for specific questions regarding your diet or if you feel that you need extra assistance, please do contact your doctor or midwife to seek guidance

Setting up easy meal prep in time for baby

Congratulations! Your little bundle of joy is on the way and life is about to change in a myriad of ways. Studies show that new parents lose an average of 200 hours of sleep the first year of their baby’s life. That’s five weeks less of shut-eye and means it is time to streamline your lifestyle so that you can live simply while maintaining your health, standard of living and sanity. Setting up for easy meal prep before your baby arrives is a great way to ease your family’s growing pains and relish this time with your little one.


Cesarean Awareness Month

So, if like me and countless other women out there who are suffering with constipation or just feeling a little sluggish; please give Linseed a go before reaching for the shop brought fibre supplements.  Just remember to drink plenty of water with them and of course if you’re suffering from any bowel issues such as diverticulitis then avoid and of course, for specific questions regarding your diet or if you feel that you need extra assistance, please do contact your doctor or midwife to seek guidance

There is still, unbelievably so much incorrect information,  misguided thoughts and opinions out there surrounding C-Section births.


Cesarean Sections – What no one tells you

I hadn’t even contemplated that my daughter would be born any other way than vaginally. My son- four years later was also born via C-section so I now wear my war wounds like a bad ass warrior mum and I am beyond grateful to the team of hospital medics who delivered my children into the world safely.

But like myself there are too many of us that aren’t prepared for what follows and for some unknown reason there seems to be a quiet hush surrounding the aftermath that no one warns you about.

Its all about the Oats

Loaded with goodness, ideal if you’re feeling a little nauseous and with enough complex carbohydrates to help you through the morning with ease; they’re the perfect choice.  Best of all they can be adapted easily to accommodate your taste preference.

The Importance of Carbs during Pregnancy

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you are considering a low carbohydrate diet, pregnancy is not the time to do it. Carbohydrates provide your body with energy, fiber and other necessary nutrients. According to Family Education, while you are pregnant you should be getting about half of your calories from carbohydrates alone.

What Tea’s are Safe during Pregnancy

The Monty Python team once declared’ Make Tea, Not War’ Great advice, I mean who doesn’t love a cup of tea? We are, after-all a nation of tea drinkers and with that in mind; the topic we’re covering today is ‘which teas are safe to drink during pregnancy and which teas should be avoided?

Impact of Fats & Water during Pregnancy

Finding the right balance of fats and water during pregnancy is crucial to the health of the developing fetus. One of the best fats to include in your diet is omega-3 fats, as they will not only benefit you as the mother, but also the growth of the child. It is also vital to stay hydrated throughout pregnancy to keep all body functions continuing as normal.

Vegetarian & Pregnant

Whatever our life choice is; whether that be vegetarian, pescatarian or meat-eater,  it is essential to ensure our diet provides all the essential nutrients we need for our bodies and that our diet accommodates a proportional range of foods.

When pregnant we need to enhance our focus even more on these vital nutrients and when we remove a major food group such as meat from our diet we need to source these elsewhere.

Diabetes during Pregnancy

Thankfully for the majority of women who fall pregnant they will sail through pregnancy without any issues and the topic of Gestational Diabetes won’t need to be discussed in much depth.

 However for the 3-5% of women that do go on to develop it; it can be a daunting  and often disheartening realisation.  Gestational diabetes means diabetes mellitus which literally translates to high blood sugar that is first  found during pregnancy.  It usually starts around the middle or towards the end of pregnancy but it can start earlier.