The 80:20 way of eating is bofh as old as the hills and as up to date as ever – A-listers who are apparently following the ‘trend’ include Orlando Bloom, Cameron Diaz, Miranda Kerr and Olivia Munn. The idea is that you eat wholesome, unprocessed foods 80 per çent of the time and allow yourself a more liberal approach to eating for the other 20 per çent.I really like the concept, as it means you can eat the foods you fancy without feeling guilty. You can also interpret it in a way that suits you – some people apply it to their main meals, teaming 80 per cent vegetables, whole grains and lean protein with 20 percent something ‘naughtier’ such as a small portion of dough balls or a taste of dessert, while others allow themselves three to five meals a week that can be less healthy. You could also do it on a calorie basis – for example if you’re having 1,800 calories a day, you let up to 360 of those to have less nutritional value.As with all eating approaches, there are potential problems – if you push the 20 percent envelope to max out on chocolate, crisps or wine, it’s not going to help you stay slim and healthy. And if you see it as another set of rules to live by that make you feel trapped and miserable, you’re likely to rebel against it after a while.However, used with common sense, I find 80:20 a good approach for staying trim and healthy. I also like to use it as a general lifestyle rule – with exercise and work/life balance – and I’ve had great results!
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SO LONG, SUGAR
Italian food brand Napolina, best known for its pasta, tinned tomatoes and sauces, has responded to sugar reduction recommendations with a great range of ‘No Added Sugar’ Italian meals sauces.With the average portion of pasta sauce containing a teaspoon of sugar, that’s great news. The family range of smooth sauces includes Tomato and Hidden Veg (£1.70 for 500g;Sainsbury’s) and is ‘Mumsnet Rated’, while a smaller size (£1.50 for 350g), has chunkier textures and is ideal for two people. All the tomato-based flavours count towards your 5-a-day and are super tasty – i’ll be keeping a few in my cupboard for midweek meals.Another staple it’s well worth buying in a reduced-sugar version is baked beans. But remember that it’s the obvious, not the ‘hidden’ sugars that still provide the bulk of the sugar in our diets – think cakes and desserts.
HOW TO TAKE YOUR VITAMINS
QAre sublingual vitamins better for you than tablets?
You put sublingual vitamins under your tongue – as a squirt of liquid or a small, fast-dissolving tablet, so they’re absorbed directly through the mucosal membrane that lines your mouth. The makers claim absorption is better this way, but having looked at the evidence, there’s no real difference in results whether you take your vitamins orally or sublingually. However, sublingual vitamins can be useful if you can’t swallow tablets, and sublingual vitamin B12 makes sense as oral vitamin B12 can be very poorly absorbed in people who don’t have enough of a substance called intrinsic factor in their stomach. It’s best to get your vitamins from a healthy diet though.
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