Last week we discussed the nutritional pros and cons of one of my dinners, this week we will do the same for a lunch I ate recently.
Remember, when creating your meals, the most important aspect to consider is the macronutrient balance (protein/fat/carb ratio) and how much veg they contain.
This lunch, which consisted of 240g mixed veg, 125g mackerel (tinned in brine) and 30g hummus, contains 3 portions of veg, ¾ portion of protein, 1¼ portions of fat and 1¼ portions of carbs.
As a reminder, the lunch macronutrient recommendations are as follows:
When you compare the macro-balance of my lunch, to the lunch recommendations, you can observe the following:
Veg - The amount of veg in this meal is great for health and weight-loss. However, just look at how much salad you need to achieve 3 portions of veg!!! This is because a portion of veg is 80g and salad leaves weigh very little.
Protein/Fat Ratio – As you can see the protein of this meal is slightly low and so is the fat, so a little more fish would be ideal. For women this would be around 25g (providing an additional ¼ portion of protein and ¼ portion fat) and for men around 50g of fish.
Protein – Mackerel is a great protein source. However, as fish contains contaminants (due to pollution), sadly the recommendation is to only eat fish twice a week (1 white fish and 1 oily fish).
Fat – The fat in this meal is mostly polyunsaturated. The oily fish provides it in the form of Omega-3, while the hummus in the form of Omega-6. The general recommendation is to increase your intake of Omega-3 and decrease your intake of Omega-6 - so try not to overdo the hummus! Adding fatty condiments, such as mayonnaise, salad dressing or more hummus, would increase the fat too much (especially once you have increased the fish).
Carbs – The veg in this lunch produces a great carb intake for both health and weight-loss. Adding additional carbs, such as rice, pasta, bread etc, would increase the carb portions above the recommendation and be detrimental to weight loss and general good health.
In summary, the standard advice for lunch and dinner is to include ¾ plate of veg, ¼ plate of protein and avoid additional carbs. This lunch roughly achieves this aim, and therefore it is a great choice for health and weight-loss. Adding in a little more fish would bring it even closer to the ideal.
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 zimo qin
photos/graphics by victoria baker