Healthy Summer Diet Tips From Laura – Our Dietitian
Wimbledon may have ended and it’s raining – it must be another British Summer that’s ended before it’s begun! Even though it may not be scorching outside, these healthy summer diet tips will ensure your summer is full of vitality, nourishment and sizzle.
Liven Up Your Lunch
Warmer weather is often associated with eating more salad but if all you’re crunching through at lunch is a bowl of green leaves you’re likely to feel hungrier later in the day and reach for something less virtuous to see you through a sugar low.
Balance your salad with some protein – experiment with different pulses such as chickpeas or puy lentils or cheeses such as feta or halloumi. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice for a healthy, zesty dressing. Remember although olive oil is high in heart healthy monounsaturates it is still oil. So if you’re concerned about calories, watch how liberally you drizzle!
Include Wholegrain Goodness
It can often be tempting to avoid these foods for fear of bloating and sluggishness in the afternoon. However in reality cutting carbohydrates out at meal times leaves you prone to lethargy, dips in your blood sugar and cravings for high sugar energy fixes.
Carbohydrates also provide wholegrains – the benefits of consuming the whole grain are continuing to emerge but so far include supporting the maintenance of a healthy weight and a reduced risk of bowel cancer and type 2 diabetes. At least 3 good reasons to add wholegrain pasta, quinoa or wholemeal pita bread to your meal for the perfect balance.
Add Some Colour to Your Day
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, rhubarb and radishes are all in season now and are a great addition to your diet – create a colourful looking fruit bowl for your desktop, brighten up a salad or treat yourself to a rhubarb crumble or strawberry pancake for pudding.
The nutritional benefits of fruit and vegetables are well known but it’s easy to let habits slip – make the effort to buy fruit on a weekend for the working week and stock up on vegetables for healthy suppers.
Catch of the Day
Oily fish are a valuable source of omega 3’s and in particular boost your protection against heart disease and stroke. There is also some evidence suggesting that they may help with brain function – perhaps useful to get you through a long afternoon meeting!
Tinned sardines make a convenient addition to a lunchtime summer salad or sandwich. If you’re worried your colleagues might not appreciate it, go for a salmon or trout steak for supper once a week instead to get your healthy quota!
Let the Fluids Flow
The 8 glasses of fluid rule is often misquoted as 8 glasses of water. You don’t have to rely on water alone to hydrate you – no added sugar squash, tea, coffee, milk and juice all count. If you’re keen to control your calories, water is best as many pre-prepared fruit drinks may have added sugar and will be high in calories. A glass of pure fruit juice counts as a portion of fruit, but best to limit to one glass a day as drinks containing naturally occurring fructose are also a source of calories.
As for alcohol – nothing beats that Friday feeling, especially in Summer. To balance those after work drinks with the goodness of your health, alternate with non alcoholic beverages, ideally water or choose spritzers/ shandys and try not to overindulge!