Maintaining a healthy diet isn’t always easy, especially if you are busy and constantly on the move and therefore find yourself leaning towards quick snacks or take away foods. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult though, having a basic healthy diet doesn’t mean following strict nutrition regimes and aiming towards the perfect body. Obtaining a healthy diet requires you to understand a few basics of nutrition, what you require from your diet and which foods to limit. Following these basic principles will allow you to feel more energetic and lead a healthier life.
Try to consume at least 7 portions of fruit and veg a day. Current recommendations in UK state 5 portions however many experts believe this should be increased and that between 7 – 11 portions of fruit and veg daily should be our target.
Avoid saturated fats and trans fats as much as possible. Found in sweets, cakes, biscuits, take away foods etc. Watch out for foods containing hydrogenated vegetable oil as these foods can be high in trans fats.
One way of reducing fat in your diet is by carefully choosing spreads such as margarine and butter also sauces such as mayonnaise. Try to go for the lower fat and salt content options. You could also reduce the amount of spread you use on bread and maybe replace mayonnaise with lower fat mayonnaise or salad cream.
Reduce salt content in the diet. Many of us consume too much salt in our diets even without adding salt at the table. This is due to salt content already in our foods, especially processed foods. Avoid adding too much salt when cooking and at the table, also try to go for low salt options available on certain products. An adult should consume no more than 6g of salt a day.
Try to always eat breakfast, eating early helps to kick start your metabolism and set you up for the day.
Aim to consume your daily requirements of good fats (Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids) found in fish, nuts, eggs etc. For more info see Nutrition.
Remember you can enjoy your favourite deserts, sweets, pizzas etc as long as they are in moderation as part of your healthy diet.
Limit alcohol intake, alcohol should only be consumed in moderation. remember alcohol is made up of calories and sugars and when consumed in large amounts frequently can contribute to weight gain and health problems.
Try to drink plenty of water, the average adult should consume 2.5 litres of water per day. This increases with exercise and on warm days.
Try to ensure you meet your calorie requirements for the day. This requirement increases for people that carry out regular exercise. Not eating enough and missing meals can lead to a slow down in the body’s metabolism and a lack of vital nutrients consumed in the diet.