The Health and Fitness Show - Nutrition Resources
Nutrition resources created by registered associate nutritionist Ruth Kavanagh from EduFIT (@EduFITireland on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).
Full-text Farmer health research paper is available to view here: https://www.truefitness.ie/our-research-projects/research-with-the-institute-of-technology-sligo
Summary of Nutrition Tips
We should aim to reduce the amount of saturated fat and salt in the diet as high intakes saturated fat can increase cholesterol which is a risk factor for heart diseases and too much salt is a risk factor for high blood pressure which also increases the risk of heart diseases.
Saturated fat is found in foods such as butter, cream, cheese, coconut oil, cakes, biscuits, pastries, fatty cuts of meat, sausages, bacon. Tips on how to reduce saturated fat include:
- choosing leaner cuts of meat such as turkey breast reduced fat mince and lower-fat or reduced-fat dairy products
- remove any visible fat and take the skin off meat and poultry before cooking it
- grill, bake, poach or steam food rather than frying or roasting
- measure oil with a teaspoon to control the amount you use, or use an oil spray
- enjoy treats such as cakes, biscuits, ice-cream, and pastries in moderation. If you are having these foods every day, then it’s not a treat! Of course, you can include these foods into your diet just not every day.
- Tips on how to reduce salt include:
- keep salt away from the table and kitchen counters. You don’t need to add salt to food as there is already enough salt added to them by the manufacturer.
- Use herbs, spices, black pepper, balsamic vinegar, chilli, lemon/lime juice to flavour foods instead of table salt.
- Swap salty processed meats like bacon and sausages for white meats like chicken and turkey or vegetable sources of protein like beans/peas/lentils.
- Choose lower salt options by reading food labels.
When it comes to nutrition, I think it is important to think about what we can add into our diet to improve our health.
- Increase fibre in the diet - Fibre is found in grains such as oats, barley, wheat, rye, buckwheat, fruits, vegetables as well as nuts and seeds.
- I would suggest trying to incorporate unsalted nuts into your diet by adding a palmful to cereal in the morning or you could have a palmful as a snack throughout the day or you could add them to lunch/dinner – they are delicious in stir fry’s, especially if you dry roast them on the pan for a few seconds!
- Eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables. It is recommended in Ireland to enjoy 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. One serving is a medium sized fruit or vegetable e.g. a banana, apple, pear, carrot, onion is 1 serving or 2 small fruits is 1 serving e.g 2 kiwis/plums etc. 1 servings=handful of berries. Fresh/frozen/dried/canned are all great options.
- 1-2 portions of fish per week is recommended for brain and heart health.
- Final reminder: Don’t underestimate the impact small changes can have on your health, especially when they are sustained over time. Simple changes like enjoying more fruits, vegetables, and unsalted nuts, drinking more water, not adding sugar to tea/coffee or salt to foods and being more physically active can really make a difference to your health.
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