Q & Thursday: what should your dinner plate look like?
Posted by kathryn in Easier eating
Today I’ve posted a whole lot of information about carbohydrates
Underneath all these however, is the fundamental issue of what makes up a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Should you be eating carbohydrates?
As I’ve stated before, I don’t believe you need to forego all potatoes, bread, pasta, rice and other grain based foods. There is a place for carbohydrates in most peoples’ diet.
However, I do think most of us eat too many of them.
Most people base their meals around either the protein or the grain component. And these two food groups take up the most space on their dinner plate.
I just think we have our dinner ratios a bit screwy and they’re not helping our health. We’re eating too much of the grain / potato component and too little of the protein and most definitely too few vegetables.
The role of carbohydrates in the modern diet
We need carbohydrates. They provide fuel. Every time you move, every body process – they’re all powered by carbohydrates.
However, most of us live pretty sedentary lives. For most people, exercise is a maximum of an hour a day. The rest of the day is then spent sitting at a desk, on the bus and then on the couch. If this is you, then you simply don’t need a lot of fuel.
And if you have too much, the excess is converted into a stored energy source . . . ie fat.
Pasta, potatoes and rice are all cheap foods. We’ve become accustomed to using them as fillers and as the foundation of meals.
But most people don’t need to be “filled up” in the evening. You’re relaxing, going to bed within a few hours and your fuel needs are not that great.
The 50/25/25 rule
My general rule with clients is:
- 50% of the dinner plate should be vegetable
- at least 25% protein
- and the rest grains or potatoes.
This is quite a turnaround from what most people do, but it’s a much more healthy dinner ratio.
Why you should eat this way
- hardly anybody here in Australia is eating enough vegetables and a big serve in the evening means you’re more likely to get your quota.
- you don’t need as much of the heavy carbohydrate foods in the evening, hence the small amount on the idealised plate.
- a good serving of protein, combined with the vegetables should fill you up and prevent you from being hungry overnight.
- if you are hungry after dinner, then follow up with a small bowl of fruit and yoghurt.