A balanced diet is one of the most important ingredients for a healthy lifestyle.
Ideally, men should try and eat no more than 2,500 calories a day. Obviously that’s more of a guideline than a strict rule but it’s worth keeping in mind. Most food packaging will include a calorie count so it’s always worth having a check.
As with calories, different nutrients also have a recommended daily allowance. Again, you don’t need to follow these religiously but it’s good to have the numbers to hand. Daily, aim to eat around:
- 70g of fat. 20g of this can be saturated fat
- 260g of Carbohydrates: foods like pasta and bread
- 50g of Protein: meat, fish eggs
- 90g of sugars. That includes sugars from fruits
- 6g of salt
Nowadays most packaged foods will include the amount of fat, carbs, protein and so on somewhere on the label. A lot of labels are colour coded – green indicates a healthy portion, yellow is middling and red is excessive. They also tell you the percentage of your recommended daily allowance each portion of food contains.
But the numbers can only help you so much. What if you’re cooking from scratch, using raw ingredients? You can measure out the ingredients using a measuring jug or weighing scale. If you’re following a recipe, every book will include the required measurement of ingredients.
Then you have the actual portions on the plate. There is a very simple, if a slightly rough-and-ready, way of measuring a suitable portion of food. Your hand. Believe it or not, you can use your hand as a guideline to how much food you should be serving onto the plate.
A serving of pasta should be roughly the size of your clenched fist. A serving of meat should be roughly the size of your palm. You can have more vegetables – roughly two clenched fists-worth. Your fingertip is about the size of a teaspoon – the amount of butter your toast requires.