Monthly Archive: April 2019

These five practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make healthier choices.

The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.

If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you’ll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.

You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

It’s 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).

Most adults in the UK are eating more calories than they need and should eat fewer calories.

1. Base your meals on higher fibre starchy carbohydrates

Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals.

Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on.

They contain more fibre than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer.

Try to include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.

Keep an eye on the fats you add when you’re cooking or serving these types of foods because that’s what increases the calorie content – for example, oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.

2. Eat lots of fruit and veg

It’s recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced.

Getting your 5 A Day is easier than it sounds. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?

A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A portion of dried fruit (which should be kept to mealtimes) is 30g.

A 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as 1 portion, but limit the amount you have to no more than 1 glass a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage your teeth.

3. Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals.

Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including at least 1 portion of oily fish.

Oily fish are high in omega-3 fats, which may help prevent heart disease.

You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.

Most people should be eating more fish, but there are recommended limits for some types of fish.

Find out more about fish and shellfish

4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

Saturated fat

You need some fat in your diet, but it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you’re eating.

There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.

Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.

Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as:

  • fatty cuts of meat
  • sausages
  • butter
  • hard cheese
  • cream
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • lard
  • pies

Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados.

For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee.

When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat.

All types of fat are high in energy, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.

Sugar

Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay.

Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories), and if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.

Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies.

This is the type of sugar you should be cutting down on, rather than the sugar found in fruit and milk.

Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars.

Free sugars are found in many foods, such as:

  • sugary fizzy drinks
  • sugary breakfast cereals
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • pastries and puddings
  • sweets and chocolate
  • alcoholic drinks

Food labels can help. Use them to check how much sugar foods contain.

More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means the food is low in sugar.

Get tips on cutting down on sugar in your diet

5. Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.

Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much.

About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces.

Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.

Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt (about a teaspoonful) a day. Younger children should have even less.

Get tips on cutting down on salt in your diet

6. Get active and be a healthy weight

As well as eating healthily, regular exercise may help reduce your risk of getting serious health conditions. It’s also important for your overall health and wellbeing.

Read more about the benefits of exercise and physical activity guidelines for adults.

Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health.

Most adults need to lose weight by eating fewer calories.

If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Health And Lifestyle Quotes That Will Get You Thinking

How often do you think about food? Not just what sounds good to eat, but where your food comes from and what it’s doing to your body…

How often do you think about food? Not just what sounds good to eat, but where your food comes from and what it’s doing to your body and the planet? Growing up, I never thought about any of that. It was prepared and made for the family and that’s what I ate. It wasn’t until I was older did those thoughts ever cross my mind.

It wasn’t until I decided to change my diet and lifestyle habits, that I really started learning more about all this. Along my journey, I found some pretty amazing authors and health warriors that have helped me learn and grow as a Health Coach.

Here are some of their quotes that will hopefully get you thinking about your food and lifestyle choices.

Alicia Silverstone

“I don’t have any understanding of a human being who doesn’t respect the beauty of life and that goes for all creatures that have thoughts, feelings and needs.”

“I never count calories, but I eat so well.”
“I don’t take any of the medications I took when I was younger: antibiotics, antacids, aspirin, asthma inhalers, ulcer medication, allergy shots.”

“Here’s the secret to weight loss; it’s all about crowding out, not cutting out.”

“Most diets would have you cutting things out from your diet; they are about denial and discipline.”

“Hunger and self-control do not go hand in hand.”

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you feed yourself what your body needs when it needs it, that’s love. So give your body some TLC and sit down and enjoy a good, substantial breakfast.”

“Know your body, understand your mind and embrace your spiritual path.”

Jonathan Safran Foer

“Every factory-farmed animal is, as a practice, treated in ways that would be illegal if it were a dog or a cat.”

“Food is not just what we put in our mouths to fill up; it is culture and identity. Reason plays some role in our decisions about food, but it’s rarely driving the car.”

“Not responding is a response – we are equally responsible for what we don’t do.”

“Since the world has changed so much, the same values don’t lead to the same choices anymore.”

Michael Pollan

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”

“You are what you eat.”

“Don’t eat anything incapable of rotting.”

“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”

“The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead.”

“Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.”

Rory Freedman

“Whenever you see the words “fat-free” or “low-fat”, think of the words “Chemical Shit Storm.”

“People in other cultures consume half the amount of protein that we do, yet they live longer, healthier lives.”

“You are what you eat. You are a human body comprised of organs, blood and guts, and other shit. The food you put into your body works its way through your organs and bloodstream and is actually part of who you are. So every time you put crap in your body, you are crap.”

“Never feel like or say you are “giving up” your favorite foods. Those words have a negative connotation, like you are sacrificing something. You’re not “giving up” anything. You are simply empowered now and able to make educated, controlled choices about what you will and won’t put into your body, your temple.”

“And when all feels hopeless, remember that you are in charge of what goes into your body, you don’t answer to anyone, and you are allowed to eat anything you want. Often just knowing we can eat whatever we want is enough to keep us from eating whatever we want. We’re so rebellious.”

Those were great, right? If you couldn’t tell, most of those quotes all have to do with eating a more plant-based diet.

Learning more about how making better food choices could improve my health changed my life for the better. It was quite the adventure for me. Before switching my diet, my family lived on boxed, packaged and processed foods.

Now, we make healthier choices when it comes to what we eat and drink and feel so much better for it. Changing our diet wasn’t always easy, however, it was totally worth it.