Healthy eating isn’t just for January. See yourself eating more healthily throughout of the year, and as an everyday choice to maintain a healthier, happier you…
A well-balanced diet helps us to feel good and boost our mood, support weight loss and keep our bodies healthy to prevent heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Currently, most UK adults consume too much saturated fat and sugar. At the same time the majority of adults do not eat enough fruit and vegetables, fibre or oily fish. Eating well may be easier than you think. There are small but significant changes many of us can make to follow a healthier diet.
What does a healthier diet look like?
The Eatwell Guide shows how most people can achieve a healthier diet overall. It shows five main food groups to include in our diet and in what amounts to achieve a healthy balance. The guide shows that over a third of our daily food intake should be from fruit and vegetables, aiming for at least five a day. There are lots of reasons to eat these foods including them being a good source of vitamins and minerals, e.g. vitamin C to help our skin, and of dietary fibre for a healthy gut and bowel. It also shows foods and drinks high in sugar, fat and salt – chocolate, cakes, biscuits, butter, ice-cream and full sugar drinks are a few examples. The Eatwell Guide shows that we can still eat these foods, but these should be in smaller amounts and less often. Along with eating healthily, we should also drink six to eight glasses of fluid every day. To achieve a healthier diet try to swap full sugar soft drinks for other options. Plain water, semi- or skimmed-milk, one glass of fruit juice or tea and coffee all count towards your fluid intake.
Don’t skip breakfast
Eating breakfast may be your start to a healthier diet. Breakfast provides us with energy and can help to reduce mid-morning snacking too. Wholegrain breakfast cereal with dried fruit served with milk or yoghurt is just one tasty start to the day.
● Over 2 in 3 adults in Peterborough are overweight or obese (70.8%).
● Only 27% of 19-64 year olds and 35% of over 65’s meet the recommended five fruit and vegetables a day.
Snack foods can often be high in sugar, fat and salt. Swap crisps for plain popcorn or chocolate for a small handful of unsalted nuts. Raw vegetable sticks with dip or whole pieces of fruit make great snack options.
Changes to your main meals
Making changes to your main meals could be where you choose to start. Try serving smaller portions, perhaps using a smaller plate, swap white bread, rice and pasta to wholegrain choices, or serve at least two side portions of vegetables with each main meal. Perhaps reduce the number of takeaways you have.
What’s your BMI?
This is a measure of your height and weight and tells you if you are a healthy weight, underweight, overweight or obese. Search the NHS Choices website for a free BMI calculator to quickly calculate your BMI and get more information.
How to start
Start with making just one change. This could be having breakfast, swapping to healthier snacks, eating more fruit and vegetables or drinking more water. Plan how will introduce this change. Once you’ve achieved this then you may want to add in another goal and gradually build upon each these. Telling friends and family can also you to do well with added support and encouragement. If there is a moment where you don’t manage to keep your change going then just try to re-focus and try again.
The One You Easy Meals app is a great way to eat foods that are healthier for you. You’ll find delicious, easy meal ideas to help get you going if you’re ever short of inspiration. The Live Well 12 week weight loss guide combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity. You get a brilliant information pack for each week of the plan, which is full of advice and tips, plus a brilliant stickit- on-the-fridge planner to help you track your weekly progress.