5 Golden Nutrition and Hydration Rules
Getting started in healthy eating can be a bit of a daunting task. There seems to be so much conflicting information and advice available, it’s hard to decide which bit to listen to. Even if you only follow these few hints, it will set you well on your way to a healthier balanced diet, without you really noticing!
1. Always Eat Breakfast
After fasting all night, kick-start your body’s engine with some good quality food. If you ever feel lethargic in the morning, or skip breakfast and are ravenous by ten o’clock, you will feel 100% better if you have some food when you get up. Top of the breakfast charts is porridge, perhaps topped with some fresh or dried fruit. Porridge will provide you with sustained energy and cancel out the ten o’clock ‘munchies’! Cereals provide a simple and quick breakfast fix but try and avoid sugar or chocolate coated varieties.
Symptoms of dehydration include unusual fatigue, dizziness, hunger, dry skin, dark urine and general lethargy. When you consider that the majority of our bodies are made up from water, topping up your body’s fluid intake with water and natural fluids (for example: fruit juice) is extremely important.
3. Take The ‘20 Per Day’ Test
Try and eat 20 different, healthy foods each day to ensure that you are fuelling your body with a broad range of different nutrients and to guarantee that you are getting the full complement of vitamins, minerals and trace elements – and that your meals are interesting too!
4. Limit Or Avoid Salt
A high consumption of salt has proven links to high blood pressure, so minimising your intake is very important. Many foods have salt added to them to enhance their flavour because salt is the cheapest flavour enhancer available. For example, many ready-made soups contain up to three grams and a few slices of bread can easily net you another gram. When the maximum recommended daily salt intake is five to six grams per person, you can see how easy it is to take in large quantities – unknowingly.
5. Avoid Eating Late At Night
“Breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dine like a Pauper” is an old adage but there is some truth in the saying. Many people have an ‘end-of-day load’ approach to their food intake, sometimes eating a large evening meal at nine o’clock at night, having eaten very sparingly throughout the day. Effectively they have starved themselves during their period of maximum activity and when they get home they are extremely hungry and eat a very large meal before going to bed.