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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I find out if I am eating healthy meals?

    I am taking blood pressure medication and my doctor suggested I reduce my salt intake. I am cooking my own meals with fresh ingredients. I have porridge with fruit for breakfast and each day I include vegetables and fruit with my lunch and dinner. I have meat and chicken once a week, and fish twice a week. I also make soups consisting of either lentils, beans, split peas or chick peas. I also allow myself sweet treats every now and then. On the plus side I have lost some weight by cutting down on the salt. I ride my bicycle each morning for 30 minutes and walk as well. I have enough sleep each night and enjoy my new-found energy and more positive outlook in life. Each month I donate plasma at the blood bank and have noticed a slow decline in my haemoglobin levels over the past few months. That is why I am wondering if I am eating correctly. I would be very grateful for any advice I receive. Many thanks in advance from Stella.
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    Clare Wolski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I'm Clare and I'm a passionate Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD). I love empowering people with good nutrition information so they can make the best decisions … View Profile

    Hi Stella, 

    A great question and you have provided some great background information. 

    It sounds as though you are eating in quite a balanced way. As you mentioned, you are eating lots of whole foods and preparing your own meals, which is a good indicator of a healthy diet. I am glad that you feel you are still able to include some sweet things and that exercise is regular part of your life. Without knowing your energy needs and your exact energy intake, it seems that you are eating really well. 

    If you are concerned about the balance of your main meals like lunch and dinner, a good way to think about it is:

    • 1/2 plate of vegetables
    • 1/4 plate of protien source like meat, chicken, fish, legumes or tofu
    • 1/4 plate of carbohydrate source like potato, rice, pasta, bread, legumes etc. 
    • Small amount of healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, oils etc. 

    Regarding your haemoglobin, a gradual decline could be related to a number of things but it may be worth considering your iron intake. Red meat, pork, canned beans, lentils and tempeh (fermented soybeans) are all great sources of iron. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to have 2 times a week and including some tinned beans or lentils at different meals.  

    If you would like to get more specific recommendations, it's great to speak one-on-one with an Accredited Practising Dietitian. 

    Keep up the great perspective on healthy eating!


    Clare Wolski

  • Stella Anderson

    HealthShare Member

    Dear Clare,

    thank you so much for answering my question and for your encouraging words. I will use your suggestions on food portions when I have my meals and will increase my meat intake to twice a week.

    Thank you again so much with kind regards


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