Wednesday 13 November 2019

The expert view

Nutrition consultant Lynda McFarland says: "Based on her food diary, Deirdre's daily calorie count is approximately 1,390 calories -- falling quite short of the recommended daily intake for women of 2,000 calories.

"However, I'd be more concerned about the nutritional value of the food than how many calories it contains. For instance, if the granola and soup were shop-bought, they're likely to be laced with sugar and salt. Likewise, coffee pumped with sugar may be low in calories, but it adds nothing to your diet.

"I'd advise Deirdre to start the day with some hot water and lemon before hitting the coffee so she's at least getting some vitamin C. If she can't curb her coffee intake, then she should try to cut out the sugar.

"As a vegetarian, Deirdre needs to be careful to get enough protein, vitamin B12 and important minerals like zinc and iron. Spelt sourdough toast and an egg for breakfast, baked potato with beans and salad for lunch and fish pie with minty peas for dinner would be perfect.

"Rather than relying on caffeine and sugar for a kick later in the day, I'd suggest snacking on carrot sticks and hummus, walnuts or even a little dark chocolate. There's nothing wrong with a glass of wine every so often -- but red would be better!"

Irish Independent

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