Welcome to our DLicious approach to a healthy way of eating - our food philosophy "Fast Fitness Food" is inspired by our brand promise "Life. Be Fit For It." and is designed to look after you from the inside out.
In creating the menu, our expert team of chefs, nutritionists and fitness professionals have drawn inspiration from the 40:30:30 and Paleolithic approach to supply the fuel we require on a daily basis - you will find these dishes, marked "Healthy & Balanced" and "Inspired by Paleo", throughout the menu.
These dishes help you enjoy the effects that quality ingredients have on your health and wellbeing as well as draw on the natural function of the body. They will be lower in poor quality carbohydrates, higher in protein and use natural good fats.
We hope that you enjoy every mouthful!
We call it 'Healthy & Balanced'... And we use this symbol on our menu to highlight 'Healthy & Balanced' dishes.
The 40:30:30 food philosophy is based on "The Zone" diet developed by Barry Sears PH.D. The diet recommends that daily calorie intake should be around 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins, and 30% fats. When achieved, hormonal responses from Insulin and Glucagon are favourable for fat loss and health. The hormonal responses promote blood sugar stabilisation which means more consistent energy levels can be achieved.
The long term benefits of adopting a 40:30:30 approach, rather than the traditional high carbohydrate diet that contains lots of bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, reduce the risks of diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and coronary heart disease.
Eating a 40:30:30 and Paleo inspired diet, means that most of us will need to reduce our carbohydrate intake, increase our protein intake and maintain our fat intake, whilst being conscious to make the healthiest choices available... well at least most of the time!
We call it 'Inspired by Paleo'... And we use this symbol on our menu to highlight 'Inspired by Paleo' dishes.
Paleo means Stone Age - this method of eating recommends foods that our ancestors would have eaten some 15,000 years ago, for example: lean meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. It is a natural, grain free, dairy free approach with none of the modern food processing elements that we get today.
Our genetics have not changed for millions of years but our standard diet has changed drastically in the last few decades. Our bodies can't cope with these changes - the signals are everywhere - diabetes, obesity...
Studies show Paleo diets have a typical macronutrient ratio around 40:30:30. Additionally, Paleo foods that a Stone Age person would have eaten would have come from nature. Nature's food provides a great range of the best quality macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) as well as vitamins and minerals. Eating a diet that incorporates Paleo foods will go a long way to solving the above modern day challenges and lead to improved health.
Combing the Paleo natural healthy foods approach with 40:30:30 macronutrient ratio balance you are set up to achieve improved health.
If you'd like to discover more about either the 40:30:30 or Paleolithic philosophies we recommend the following reading:
4 great books for further reading on the 40:30:30 & Paleo diet Philosopies are:
There are many characteristics of the modern diet that can lead to health challenges. The most common characteristic of the 'modern diet' is that it contains more than 60% in poor quality carbohydrates. Carbohydrates such as cereal, bread, pasta, rice and baked or processed goods can lead to unbalanced blood sugar levels, hunger, fat storage and poor energy. In turn, a high carbohydrate diet often leads to a low protein intake; a diet with less than 15% protein such as lean meat, fish and sea food can lead to low metabolism and hunger.
A diet high in unnecessary bad fats is also prevalent within the typical modern diet. Fatty meats, dairy foods, cereal, bread, pasta, rice and baked or processed goods can lead to increased fat storage due to negative effects on insulin and inflammation levels. This also increases the risk of LDL rising (bad cholesterol). Typically, this kind of diet pattern can also result in low fibre intake from vegetables. A common misconception is that cereals are a terrific source of fibre, but in reality, vegetables are a much richer source of fibre and in fact, cereals are high in carbohydrates and salts! A diet lacking in fibre can lead to poor digestive health, excessive hunger as lack of bulk to food, constipation, colon cancer, high blood cholesterol and type 2 Diabetes.
Another common side effect of the typical modern diet is a salt and potassium imbalance caused from fatty meats, dairy, bread and pastas. Fruit and vegetables and all the other staples of the Paleo diet provide much more potassium than sodium, ensuring a good balance. If fatty meats, dairy, bread and pastas are eaten in excess, the sodium and potassium balance can be upset - resulting in poor health in particular high blood pressure. A lack of fruit and vegetables can also result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Acid/Alkaline imbalance is another challenge the modern diet can bring. Most dairy is very acidic so if this is over relied on for a source of protein, particularly in the absence of vegetables, it can tip the bodies blood PH towards acidic. Acidity contributes significantly to inflammation which can aggravate health issues like asthma. A high acid load can also lead to bone and muscle loss with aging.
Our food can be divided up into three macronutrient groups: carbohydrate, protein and fat, which can be found in many different foods consumed in our diets. Choosing the right types of these macronutrients can help you stay healthy.
The destination of all these carbohydrates is our blood stream, as glucose (blood sugar). The exception is indigestible fibre, which assists in the passage of the digestive system. Of the absorbable carbohydrates, some will enter the blood stream quicker than others - this makes an important difference, as the speed and amount of glucose in the blood stream is a significant contributor to weight gain.
The speed at which carbohydrates become glucose in the blood stream is known as the Glycemic Index (GI) and the amount is known as the Glycemic Load (GL). While many foods are labelled with their GI status, few have GL status displayed. The difference between GI and GL is very important. By eating a source of carbohydrate, which is converted into blood glucose, our body will be prompted to produce insulin in response.
Insulin allows carbohydrates to be stored as fat. This is true when our blood sugar levels go up very quickly in a large amount. Crucially, our blood sugar has upper and lower limits, and to push above the upper limit will prompt this insulin response.
So, while we could eat low GI food, it could have a high GL value, like wholemeal bread, which would prompt an insulin response and encourage weight gain. Conversely, a food like watermelon will have a high GI value, but a low GL value, so it would take a lot of watermelon to prompt an insulin response; but it wouldn't take a lot of bread to produce one!
Carbohydrates are our immediate energy source, 1g of which will provide us with 4 kcal. When we exercise, we need carbohydrates for energy, but if we lead a more sedentary lifestyle, we require less. So, it's no big surprise that most people are consuming too much kcal; this coupled with the prevalence of office jobs results in not burning enough energy!
Modern diets contain an overwhelming presence of carbohydrate rich food, and more specifically high GI and GL foods - the bad sort. Our Paleo ancestors had a simple source of carbohydrate, fruit and vegetables; these sources are generally low GI and GL and contain plenty of vitamins and minerals as well as high fibre content. They will also help reduce your body's acidity, bringing it back in balance.
Bread, pasta, rice, cereals are all sources of carbohydrate; these foods, because they are refined, are typically high GI and GL and they're easily found in snack form. They are often linked with unhealthy 'bad' fats found in such things as crisps, cakes, biscuits and chocolate.
Proteins are collections of amino acids. Amino acids fall into two categories: those that can be produced in the body (non-essential) and those that cannot be produced in the body (essential). Therefore, it's important to consume a variety of protein, so we are not missing a vital component of our diet. After water, proteins are the most abundant chemical in the body: found in muscle, skin and blood. Imagine the proteins you eat broken down into their constituent amino acids, which fills up our protein bank - so the body can use them as needed. Proteins are very active and will not sit around for long, as they are constantly broken down and integrated for healthy functioning of the body.
Proteins have many functions, but crucially for maintaining a healthy diet, they:
- Encourage the breakdown of fat in the body by stimulating glucagon
- Encourage growth and repair of muscle tissue
- Make you feel fuller
- Require the body to use energy to digest them
In short, it's protein that will help muscles develop (at the expense of fat). With a greater proportion of muscle, we burn more calories. And proteins are essential for energy, hormones, skin, enzyme and the immune system.
Ideal protein sources come from a mix of lean, fresh meat and fish, nuts, eggs, lentils and beans. Protein is also found in dairy products, such as cheese and milk. Be aware that some dairy products come combined with unnatural saturated fats and can have an unhealthy acidic effect on the body. So it's recommended that dairy products are not relied on as a source of protein.
We are talking about lipids, which come in two forms:
1. Fats are lipids, which are solid at room temperature
2. Oils are lipids, which are liquid at room temperature
Chemically they can be classified into four different types:
1. Trans fat
Trans fat (or hydrogenated) are engineered via food processing methods. These fats are not recognised by the body. They are highly linked to bad cholesterol levels and heart disease. The recommended amount in the diet is zero.
Saturated fats get their name from their molecular structure, they are perhaps the most commonly known fat, associated with heart disease and 'bad' cholesterol (LDL). Whilst this common association is important to recognise, it is also important to be aware that there are different types of saturated fat, some more harmful than others and in actual fact a small amount of some saturated fat is healthy, as long as it comes from a good source! In practical terms this means a couple of simple things. We should be aware of what sources of saturated fat we eat, the amount, and the quality. For example; Sausages have a high amount of saturated fat in them, also sausages are highly processed likely degrading the quality of fat. On the other hand a lean chicken breast (ideally grilled as opposed to fried in batter!) is low in saturated fat. If the Chicken has been allowed to roam freely and eat a natural diet the saturated fat it does have will be of high quality making it suitable for us to eat.
Generally, monounsaturated fats lower LDL, so have health benefits. The most commonly known source of monounsaturated fat is Olive Oil being about 75% monounsaturated fat. Typically monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. These types of fat should be included in our diet as key source.
Polyunsaturated fats have two subtypes, essential fatty acids: omega 3 and omega 6. Omega 6 fatty acids come from vegetable sources (particularly vegetable oils) and our diets tend to be high in them, particularly at the expense of omega 3. We should aim for a ratio of 1:1 for omega 3 to omega 6. The typical western diet has a ratio of 1:10-20 for omega 3 to 6. Omega 3 enhances hormone function, reduces inflammation, and boosts the immune system. And it also helps keep your heart healthy. It along with monounsaturated fat should be a key focus for our fat intake.
Fats are vital for energy, formation of bodily structures (cell walls), hormones, vitamins and the protection of internal organs. Healthy fats such as omega 3 and monounsaturated fat are essential and we should include them in our diet. Poor quality, unnatural saturated fats and omega 6 fats should be limited and trans fats should be completely avoided.
Your sources of fat will generally come from the same source as your protein; oily fish (such as salmon) is particularly high in omega 3. Other good sources of healthy fat include meat, fish, nuts, oils, such as olive oil (and olives), coconut oil, flax seed oil and avocado oil. Olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil can be drizzled over salad or used in cooking, as they retain their properties well at high temperatures. Foods to avoid that are high in saturated fat, are very fatty meats (particularly processed and grain fed), dairy products, margarines and vegetable spreads as these can be high in unnatural sources of saturated fat.
Avocados and coconuts are two examples of natural sources of natural saturated fat.
Trans fats are found in cakes, pies, biscuits, take-aways, prepared and processed foods, which reinforces what we have been saying about carbohydrates and proteins: eat natural where possible.
Gluten is a protein composite, it is derived from wheat and related grains by kneading the flour and washing out the starch. It is a commonly used ingredient in many processed foods as it helps the food rise, bind together and keep its shape.
In recent times Gluten is being more recognised as a substance that can cause us real problems. In simple terms Gluten can break down the micro villi in your small intestine. If the breakdown is significant enough eventually undigested particles of food can leech into your blood stream (a phenomenon know as leaky gut syndrome). These undigested food particles often get treated as 'invaders' and our immune system attacks them. Some responses to Gluten are digestive disturbances, allergies or autoimmune problems.
Coeliacs are allergic to gluten and it is thought 1 in 100 people in the UK (www.coeliac.org.uk) are coeliac's with many going undetected. Coeliac or not, lowering your Gluten load can be a very positive thing for your health, in particular your digestive health which strongly ties to your energy levels and ability to lose weight/maintain a lean figure. This is why our new menu includes these options.
We know it is not always possible to stick rigidly to any diet philosophy 100% of the time - but if you do so at least 80% of the time, then we believe you would be well on your way to a brilliantly balanced diet.
We recognise this to be the case so we have provided dishes on our menu that offer that occasional alternative and bit of indulgence - Enjoy... but only so often!
We use this symbol on our menu to highlight to 'Every Now & Then' dishes