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What's On Your Plate?


Over the years food proportions have increased in size and so have our waste lines. The number of people of suffering from cancer, heart disease, diabetes and strokes has also increased. There are many contributing factors, and one of them is our inability to understanding what we should be eating and how much we should be eating.

Traditionally our dinner plates were filled with a large piece of meat or chicken half a plate of pasta or mash potatoes and a small area for a couple of veggies. A healthier plate should consist of more vegetables and less protein and carbs.

An easy way to remember what the ideal proportions are is to divide your plate into thirds. One third or less of your plate should consist of fish, poultry, lean meat or reduced fat dairy. Two thirds or more of your plate should consist of plant food such as vegetables and fruits.

Ideally we should be eating 5 portions of fruits and veggies a day. The more variety and colourful the vegetables the better for your diet will be. Select a variety of vegetable and fruits to colour your plate with greens, oranges, yellows and reds.

Vegetables and fruits are low in calories and a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

The remaining third should consist of wholegrains, cereals and pulses such as brown rice, pasta, beans, lentils, chickpeas, bulgur wheat, brown seeded bread, couscous, starchy foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams.

Eating this way helps you fill up, keep the calories down, lower the intake of meats, as well as supplying your body with phytochemicals that help protect cells in our bodies from damage that can lead to cancer.

As a guide a portion is:

  • Three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables such as broccoli and carrots
  • A small cereal bowl of green salad vegetables.
  • A medium sized piece of fruit like a banana, orange or apple.
  • A slice of large fruit like melon, pineapple
  • A handful of grapes, berries
  • A tablespoon of dried fruit like raisings
  • Two small fruit like plums, nectarins
  • Three heaped tablespoons of pulses such as chickpeas, beans.
  • A small glass (150ml) of fruit juice

World Cancer Research Fund 

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