8 tips for healthy eating

These 8 practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make healthier choices.

The key to a healthy diet is consuming the right amount of calories based on your activity level, so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.

If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you will gain weight because the energy you don’t use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you will lose weight.

You should also eat a wide variety of foods to ensure you are eating a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

It is recommended that men eat about 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women should consume about 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules).

Most adults in the UK consume more calories than they need and should consume fewer calories.

1. Base your meals on carbohydrates rich in starch and fiber.
Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the foods you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals.

Choose high-fiber varieties or whole grains, such as whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, or potatoes with skin on.

They contain more fiber than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel fuller longer.

Try to include at least 1 starchy food at each main meal. Some people think that starchy foods make you fat, but gram for gram, the carbohydrates they contain provide less than half the calories of fat.

Be aware of the fats you add when cooking or serving these types of foods because that is what increases the calorie content; For example, oil on French fries, butter on bread, and creamy sauces on pasta.

2. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
It is recommended to eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced.

Getting your 5 a day is easier than it seems. Why not snack on a banana on your breakfast cereal or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?

A serving of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A serving of nuts (which should be reserved for meals) is 30g.

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

3. Eat more fish, including a serving of oily fish
Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals.

Try to eat at least 2 servings of fish a week, including at least 1 serving of oily fish.

Oily fish is high in omega-3 fats, which can help prevent heart disease.

Fatty fish include:

Non-fatty fish include:

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

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

Discover more about fish and seafood

4. Reduce consumption of 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 eat.

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

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

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

Saturated fats are found in many foods, such as:

fatty cuts of meat
hard cheese
Try to eat less saturated fat and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados.

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

When eating meat, choose lean cuts and trim away visible fat.

All types of fats have a high energy content, so they should only be consumed in small quantities.

Regular consumption of foods and drinks high in sugar increases the risk of obesity and tooth decay.


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