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The importance of a healthy dinner - Aisling Murray

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Healthy Eating

with Aisling Murray from Whelehans Pharmacy

Fuelling your body and mind

Dinner is the last meal of the day and it is important to select the correct mix of foods.  Your dinner should provide you with a steady supply of glucose so our body can still perform biological processes when you sleep. One of the most common causes for waking up during the night or difficulty falling asleep is a reduction is blood sugar levels. When your body runs low on glucose it must tap into its glucose stores and this action can result in you waking and finding it difficult to fall back asleep. In order to avoid disturbances in your sleep ensure that you are eating a dinner that has a combination of carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potatoes, veg and fruit) and protein (poultry, fish, red meat, beans lentils and eggs); a meal with both nutrients (carbohydrates and protein) will release glucose more steadily into the blood stream. 

The most ideal way to eat dinner

Eat in a relaxed environment: If you are stressed your body is unable to digest food properly meaning some of your essential nutrients are not being absorbed. Take your time when you eat and chew your food.

Eat slowly: It is important to taste your food; this is part of the enjoyment that comes with eating.  When you eat slowly you are less likely to overeat. It takes the body up to 20 minutes to register that we are full so you are more likely to over eat if you rush eating.

Avoid eating greasy or fatty foods late at night: The more greasy or fatty the food, the harder it is to digest. When your body is digesting fatty food, it can disturb your sleep and cause indigestion.

Avoid stimulants with your dinner: Fizzy drinks or alcohol with your dinner can hinder sleep. The caffeine present in fizzy drinks and teas/coffees can keep the body awake especially if you’re sensitive to it. Leave up to 4 hours between drinking them and going to sleep.

Avoid eating late at night: Similar to caffeine or alcohol, eating too late will increase the likelihood of a disturbed sleep as your body is digesting. Another disadvantage to eating close to bed time is the tendency to overeat more at this time due to being extremely hungry.

Whelehans Nutrition Service

Whelehans nutritional service is a private one to one advice service with our nutritionist Aisling Murray. Aisling’s areas of interest include weight loss management, nutrition education and food intolerance. Our nutrition service offers you the chance to change your life in a positive way by focusing on your overall wellbeing as well as the chance to follow up on your progress.

To be continued….next week I will give more dinnertime advice

Aisling Murray has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and offers a one to one specialist nutrition service at Whelehans Pharmacy. Call Whelehans at 04493 34591 for an appointment

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