Consuming a healthy quantity of veg and protein is critical for your health and weight control, however, it is a daily challenge.
To achieve the required quantity, you need to make every meal count, and this includes your afternoon snacks. Therefore, somewhere between lunch and dinner, the recommendation is to consume the following macronutrient portions:
To help to bring these portions to life, here is an example of an afternoon snack that I took to the park last summer:
This snack consisted of 160g crudites, 2 eggs, 30g hummus, 80g mixed berries & 100ml of soya cream. When you break this meal down into its macronutrient portions you can see it consists of 3 portions of veg, ¾ portion of protein, 1¼ portions of fat and 1¼ portions of carbs.
Now, let’s compare these portions to the afternoon snack recommendations:
Veg - The amount of veg in this snack is ideal for health and weight-loss, and will help you achieve the >10 portions recommended each day.
Protein – Eggs are a healthy protein source, and two eggs provide enough protein for this meal.
Fat – The fat in this meal is slightly high and so if you want to be pedantic a little less hummus or cream would be ideal. In addition, the types of fat are saturated and Omega-6, rather than monosaturated and Omega-3. In moderation this is fine, but just don’t forget to adjust this balance in other meals.
Carbs – The amount of carbs in this snack (provided mostly from the veg and berries) will only have a small impact on your blood sugar levels, and thus will be a positive influence on your health and weight-loss.
In summary, having a healthy snack in the afternoon is a great opportunity to increase your consumption of veg and protein. I recognise it takes time and effort, and you may not ‘fancy it’ following lunch. However, if you choose wisely, including it will have a much greater positive impact on your health and weight control than leaving it out.
BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapy, memBANT, memNT, memCNCH
For more information on health and weight loss see ‘The Meta-Keto Diet’. This book is available as an eBook (£6.99), or in paperback (£15.99), via the Secret Healthy Eater Shop; www.secrethealthyeater.com/shop.
drawing by pigwire
photos/graphics by victoria baker