Nutrition

It goes without saying that nutrition is one of the most important aspects of any sportsperson's life. Eating well enables us to stay in top form for a long period of time and also has a positive effect on our mental well-being. Those who do not have a balanced diet often find themselves trailing off at the end of matches and unable to maintain a high level of intensity. In this post, I will reference the 2020 updated version of the food pyramid, and I will also share some tips and tricks to help you achieve a balanced diet. Remember that much like developing our skills on the tennis court, improving our diet takes time, dedication and effort. So try and commit yourself to your new diet plan for at least six months as it will benefit you greatly in the long run.


The Food Pyramid 2020 (Launched by The Department of Health)



- The following information is supplied to you by The Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI)

found here: https://www.indi.ie/


LEVEL 1

Vegetables, Salad and Fruit (at least 5 to 7 servings a day). Base your meals on these and enjoy a variety of colours. More is better. Limit fruit juice to unsweetened, once a day.


LEVEL 2

Wholemeal Cereals and Breads, Potatoes, Pasta and Rice (3–5 servings a day, up to 7 for teenage boys and men age 19–50). Wholemeal and wholegrain cereals are best. Enjoy at each meal.

LEVEL 3

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese (3 servings a day and 5 from the age of 9 to 18) Choose reduced-fat or low-fat varieties. Choose low fat milk and yogurt more often than cheese. Enjoy cheese in small amounts.

LEVEL 4

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Beans and Nuts (2 servings a day) Choose lean meat, poultry (without skin) and fish. Eat oily fish up to twice a week. Choose eggs, beans and nuts. Limit processed salty meats such as sausages, bacon and ham.

LEVEL 5

Fats, Spreads and Oils (In very small amounts) Use as little as possible. Choose mono or polyunsaturated reduced fat or light spreads. Choose rapeseed, olive, canola, sunflower or corn oils. Limit mayonnaise, coleslaw and salad dressings as they also contain oil. Always cook with as little fat or oil as possible i.e. grilling, oven-baking, steaming, boiling or stir-frying.

LEVEL 6 The revised Food Pyramid separates the Top Shelf from the rest of the pyramid. The Top Shelf includes foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt. These are not needed for good health and should not be consumed every day. Very small amounts once or twice a week maximum is sufficient.


What Should We Do?