Know Your Portions For A Balanced Diet
A clearer idea of healthy eating.
Recommended daily intakes: Sugar and Protein
Firstly, always remember that nutritionists recommend that sugary foods (sweets, honey etc.) should not account for more than 10% of your daily energy intake; for example 220kcal or 55g of sugar for a woman with an active lifestyle.
It is also possible to calculate recommended daily amounts for protein intake according to weight, using one gram of protein per kilo of body weight as a rule of thumb; for example, 60g of protein for a person weighing 60kg.
The notion of a “portion” remains subjective but nutritionists have suggested certain guidelines.
For example, when it comes to fruit, according to the recommendations of The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (Anses), you should be eating two to three pieces of fruit a day. Be careful with fruit juice as a glass (20cl) can contain twice as much sugar as a piece of fruit, even if some brands are quick to recommend glasses of 25cl! Watch out for fruit compotes as well, as these can also be very sugary, depending on the brand. Have a look at the sugar free versions available.
The recommended amount for vegetables is two or three 200g portions a day.
Be careful as frozen vegetable products (veggie cakes or patties) also contain large amounts of starchy foods and fat. These products do not count as one of your five a day.
Portions: Meat, fish and eggs
The recommended intake is one to two portions of meat or fish a day, one of which must be oily fish (salmon, herring, sardines, etc.) at least twice a week.
Be careful: Frozen fish is often sold in 100g portions, so to judge it right, try to eat more of it and go for fish fillets or steaks that are generally larger in proportion (check the weight on the packet).
Portions: Starchy foods
The recommended daily amount for starchy foods is one or two portions with each of your three meals, according to how hungry you are.
One thing to be careful of: chips are particularly high in fat. A small portion supplies your body with the equivalent of three tablespoons of oil. The same goes for crisps which are more than 50% fat!
Equally, it is not so much the carbs which contain a lot of fat, but rather the sauces you coat them with. Enjoy sauces by all means, but just have a taste instead of covering your plate.
Portions: Dairy products
The recommended daily amount is between three and four dairy products, according to your age, so that you get a sufficient calcium intake.
Be careful of creamy desserts and speciality cheeses which are rich in fat and therefore low in calcium. Be aware also that though low fat yogurts actually contain less fat, they often have more sugar...
Portions: Ready meals
These should contain a sufficient amount of protein (at least 20g per portion), green vegetables and starchy foods, and must weigh more than 350g.
Ready meals should also be accompanied by some raw vegetables or a soup, a dairy product and a piece of fruit so as to make the meal complete.
Our body needs seven or eight glasses of water a day.
Sugary drinks should be enjoyed occasionally just as treats. As fizzy drinks brands know all too well, it is easier to drink a 50cl bottle than a 33cl can which already contains the equivalent of seven sugar cubes.