Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good and have energy, these nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals. Nutrition is important for everyone however we sometimes often slip into an unhealthy eating faze, we all do it. It can often depend on the type of work you do, family life or the lifestyle choices you are making.
Most people can improve their health by achieving long-term changes in the balance of foods that they eat.
Some individuals have additional nutritional needs, such as people with certain illnesses, on medication, in long term care such as the very elderly and children aged under 5. If there are any concerns a GP, dietitian or practice nurse should always be consulted.
- Where possible go for wholemeal or wholegrain bread, pasta and cereals, to increase your fibre intake.
- Choosing beans and pulses adds variety and fibre to the diet and they can be used to make more expensive ingredients such as meat and poultry go further.
- Avoid having fried starchy foods too often such as chips and where possible go for healthy alternatives such as baked potatoes or oven chips.
- Avoid adding too much fat to starchy foods for example, adding butter to potatoes or having thickly spread butter or margarine on bread.
- Avoid adding rich sauces and dressings such as cream or cheese sauce on pasta go for a lower calorie version when possible.
- When increasing fibre in the diet increase your fluid intake by drinking plenty of water to avoid getting constipation and dehydration.
How to eat healthy?
- Eat these foods more often:
- vegetables (especially ones that are dark green or orange)
- fruit, whole grains (like barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, and wild rice)
lower-fat milk (skim, 1% or 2% milk) and milk alternatives like fortified soy beverages
fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and trout for omega 3 oils
lean meat (skin removed and fat trimmed)
meat alternatives (like beans, lentils and tofu)
Follow these simple and easy to remember steps to help you eat healthy:
- eat the recommended foods for your age, sex and activity levels.
- read food labels when shopping, compare and choose healthier foods
- limit foods and drinks that are high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium
- use an ‘Eat Well Plate’ for guidance and to help you remember the proportion of each food group in a healthy meal
Happy Healthy Eating!