Healthy diet for women

Women have different daily nutritional requirements to men and, below, our nutritionist has offered guidance and recipe ideas for women seeking a balanced diet for good health. But what exactly is meant by a ‘balanced diet’?

The Eatwell Guide defines different types of foods we should be eating and in what proportions. These include some simple rules to follow like getting a minimum of five fruit and veg a day, including wholegrains and choosing more fish, poultry, beans and pulses, less red meat and opting for lower fat, lower sugar dairy foods. But that’s not the whole story. How much should you be eating and is there an ideal time to eat protein, carbs or fats? Read on for our guide to healthy eating around the clock, and what are the best nutrients for the body at https://tophealthjournal.com/1480/jenny-craig-vs-nutrisystem-which-one-should-you-choose/.

Reference Intakes (RI)
Nutritional needs vary depending on sex, size, age and activity levels so use this chart as a general guide only. The chart shows the Reference Intakes (RI) or daily amounts recommended for an average, moderately active adult to achieve a healthy, balanced diet for maintaining rather than losing or gaining weight.

The RIs for fat, saturates, sugars and salt are all maximum amounts, while those for carbs and protein are figures you should aim to meet each day. There is no RI for fibre, although health experts suggest we have 30g a day.

Reference intakes (RI)

Men Women
Energy (kcal) 2500 2000
Protein (g) 55 50
Carbohydrates (g) 300 260
Sugar (g) 120 90
Fat (g) 95 70
Saturates (g) 30 20
Salt (g) 6 6

Perfect portions
Numbers and figures are all very well but how does this relate to you? Keeping the Eatwell Guide in mind, you can personalise your portion sizes with our handy guide.

Foods Portion size
Carbs like cereal/rice/pasta/potato (include 1 portion at each main meal and ensure it fills no more than ¼ of your plate) Your clenched fist
Protein like meat/poultry/fish/tofu/pulses (aim to have a portion at each meal) Palm of your hand
Cheese (as a snack or part of a meal) 2 of your thumbs
Nuts/seeds (as a snack or part of a meal) 1 of your cupped hands
Butter/spreads/nut butter (no more than 2 or 3 times a day) The tip of your thumb
Savouries like popcorn/crisps (as a snack/treat) 2 of your cupped hands
Bakes like brownies/flapjacks (as an occasional treat) 2 of your fingers
Don’t forget, as set out in the Eatwell Guide, we should all be aiming for a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Discover what counts as one portion using our five-a-day infographic.

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