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Healthy Diet

Healthy Diet

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is really important for how we feel today and also on our longer term health. It can really help with managing our weight, and can also help us to get into and stay in the healthy weight range. It is also important for:

  • reducing our risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke and some cancers
  • helping us manage mood swings and stress
  • better sleep and rest
  • helping our skin, hair and nails look healthier.

A healthy diet is a way of life, rather than a quick change. It can make a real difference to how we look and feel. It is easier to manage your diet when you know what you are eating. Cooking for yourself, rather than eating ready meals, will help you to have a better understanding of what is in your food.

Here’s some simple guidelines for you:

  • Find the right balance – it’s not about never having the foods that you love, it’s about finding a good balance and enjoying a variety of foods to you get the nutrients your body needs.
  • Make some simple swaps – making some simple swaps can have a big effect for example, if you eat chips more than once a week, maybe swap them for a jacket potato or brown rice, if you have sugary cereal in the morning maybe swap it for porridge with honey.
  • Watch how much you are eating - Eat the right amount of calories for how active you are. If you eat or drink too much, you'll put on weight. If you eat and drink too little, you'll lose weight.  It is recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women should have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules).
  • Watch out for hidden calories – ready meals, cooking sauces, oils, fats etc can often go unaccounted and yet can be high in calories and fat. Don’t be tempted to think they don’t count!
  • Eat lots of fruit and veg – try and get at least five different portions in every day
  • Eat more fish – Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish.

Cut down on saturated fat. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. The average man should have no more than 30g saturated fat a day. The average woman should have no more than 20g saturated fat a day, and children should have less than adults.

Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as:

hard cheese

hard cheese

cakes

cakes

biscuits

biscuits

sausages

sausages

Cream

Cream

Butter

Butter

Lard

Lard

Pies

Pies

Cut down on sugar – Sugar is hidden in a lot of prepacked foods and ready meals. Sugar is a major cause of obesity and tooth decay. Try and minimise sugary foods and drinks by cutting down on:

  • sugary fizzy drinks
  • alcoholic drinks
  • sugary breakfast cereals
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • pastries

These foods contain added sugars: this is the kind of sugar we should be cutting down on, rather than sugars that are found in things such as fruit and milk.

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