In my course of Nutrition and Exercise Science_Part 4: My Healthy Plate

Have you heard of My Healthy Plate?

My Healthy Plate

I didn’t… till I was exposed to it in both my modules of Diet and Disease and Applied Nutrition.

We may be more familiar with the Healthy Diet Pyramid that looks something like this…

Healthy Diet Pyramid

However, in the year 2014, the Healthy Diet Pyramid was replaced by My Healthy Plate in Singapore textbooks as the latter is a much simpler educational tool.  

The change is to encourage healthy eating habits in Singaporeans and to guide us in planning a healthy meal when dining in and/or out of the home.  

As it was said, the majority of people do not meet recommendations for both fruits and vegetables; and more than 50% do not limit the intake of deep, fried products.  Singaporeans are over-consuming unhealthy refined carbohydrates.  Thus the launch of My Healthy Plate which is much easier to remember!

Fill half of our plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole-grains and the other quarter with meat and others. Not missing out drinking more water, use healthier oils and be active!  (at the lower part of the plate)

This also somewhat tallies with the Institute of Medicine, AMDR recommendation for our macronutrients:45-65% carbohydrates10-35% protein20-35% fat.

So, please do not drop off or reduce carbohydrates from our diets as otherwise, our body will not be able to function well in the long term!

11 May 2019.


The latest diet craze – Ketogenic diet (the descendant of Atkins diet)

Ketogenic diet has been a hot topic for people who are looking at slimming down. 

Keto diet is a diet high in fat and very low in carbohydrates.  
Foods such as fatty fish, red meat, ham, bacon, chicken, butter that are high in fat (the higher the better), coconut oil, olive oil, nuts etc are recommended.  The intention is for the body to be in a metabolic state called ketosis.  With that, the body will convert the fat into ketones and use them as its main source of energy.  

In other words, the body is forced to use fat as the first-line source of fuel instead of from our usual source – carbohydrates (glucose). 

From the Internet, you can also see the various versions of keto diets.
A diet that is initially designed only for epilepsy is now highly buzzed for various illnesses and obesity.  It seems that at times, we want to outsmart our body.  Carbohydrates that are needed for our basic survival is now deemed as not a right food for us.

Trying to outsmart our body can be pretty dangerous especially when even Scientists, have yet to discover fully how our human cells function.  A look at the keto-diet, if we go back to the basics, we would be able to realise that a diet high in cholesterol and saturated fat is going to give us high blood pressure, high cholesterol and, the risk to various cancers. 

Not only the risks for cardiovascular disease and cancer, various articles from reputable associations and governmental societies have warned the danger of keto-diets.  A recent report published by The Psychological Society of UK cautioned that ketogenic diet interferes with blood sugar control and increases insulin resistance in the liver.  In other words, they fear that this may increase the risk of insulin resistance and lead to type 2 diabetes.  

Long-term use of the ketogenic diet in children also show increased risks of slowed or stunted growth, bone fractures and kidney stones.  Many other factors may be involved such as acidosis and suppressed growth hormone. (Reference: Wikipedia)

Do not believe in fad diets that exclude food groups.

3 September 2018