Healthy Eating Advice
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. It can be simple, too. Just follow these eight tips to get started.
The key to a healthy diet is about eating the right number of calories for how active you are, so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink too much, you’ll put on weight. If you eat too little you’ll lose weight. The average man needs around 2,500 calories a day. The average woman needs 2,000 calories. Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
These practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating, and can help you make healthier choices:
Base your meals on starchy foods
Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Choose wholegrain varieties when you can: they contain more fibre, and can make you feel full for longer. Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat.
Eat lots of fruit and veg
It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day. It’s easier than it sounds. A glass of 100% unsweetened fruit juice can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count.
Eat more fish
Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim for at least two portions a week, including at least one portion of oily fish. Oily fish is high in omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease.
Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
We all need some fat in our diet. But it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we’re eating. There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated.
Eat less salt
Even if you don’t add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much. About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces.
Don’t get thirsty
We need to drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated. This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, milk and fruit juices are the healthiest.
Don’t skip breakfast
Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. In fact, research shows that eating breakfast can help people control their weight. A healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet.
(Content sourced from NHS Choices)
There’s a food diary to accompany this module – try over the next week to keep a note of everything you eat and see where there is room for improvement. When making meals try and make sure your plate looks as follows:
- NHS Live Well Website – with lots of advice, information and interactive tools
- British Nutrition Foundation
- Change4life website