6 healthy eating tips
1. Base your meals on starchy foods
Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Choose wholegrain varieties (or eat potatoes with their skins on) when you can: they contain more fibre, and can help you feel full.
2. 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 unsweetened 100% fruit juice (150ml) can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?
3. 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. Oily fish contains omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease. You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned: but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.
Oily fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines and pilchards. Non-oily fish include haddock, plaice, coley, cod, tinned tuna, skate and hake. If you regularly eat a lot of fish, try to choose as wide a variety as possible.
4. 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. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as hard cheese, cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, butter, lard and pies. Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake, and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.
Most people in the UK eat and drink too much sugar. Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy and if eaten too often, can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.
Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means that the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means that the food is low in sugar.
5. Eat less salt
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
About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, 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.
6. Drink More Water
Water makes up about two-thirds of the weight of a healthy body. To stay healthy, it is important to replace the fluid we lose when we breathe, sweat or urinate. We get some fluid from our food but most comes from drinks.
The European Food Safety Authority recommends about eight glasses of 200ml each for a woman, and 10 glasses of 200ml each for a man.
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