A healthier diet for all of us is the key to better health in general.
Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables a day will reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and some cancers. If you have a long-term health condition such as diabetes, then eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is extremely important.
Key healthy eating tips include:
- eat at least five different types of fruit and/or vegetables a day
- eat a high fibre breakfast such as whole-grain breakfast cereals or toast made from wholemeal bread
- eat regularly but in moderation
- avoid fizzy or sweetened drinks. Although water is best, diluted fruit juice, herbal tea, and milk can count towards your fluid requirement, which is about two litres per day.
Five a day
Look out for the '5-a-day' portion indicator on products in supermarketsand food stores to ensure that you are eating five different servings of fruits and vegetables each day. For more information about what portion sizes visit the live well section of the NHS Choices website.
Make the weekly shop that much easier by using this helpful meal planner tool at the supermarket to help ensure you're getting five a day, every day.
See how easy it can be to incorporate vegetables into your family meals by watching this light-hearted NHS Choices video.
A healthy balance
We all have the odd treat and life is all about moderation. Eating a balanced diet is all about variety and balance in what you eat and how much of it.
A healthy approach to eating is ensuring that you eat all major food groups on a daily basis, whilst keeping food that are high in saturated fat, sugar and salt to a minimum - as well as watching your alcohol intake.
The main food groups include:
- carbohydrates (rice, pasta,cereals, wholegrain bread and potatoes)
- fruit and vegetables
- milk and dairy foods (cheese,yoghurt)
- protein (meat, fish, chicken, nuts, pulses or tofu, soya)
You can check for the levels of saturated fat on most food packaging. We all need some amount of fat in our diet and good fats include unsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado. Saturated fats (which are solid at room temperature) like butter, lard, meat dripping etc. should be kept to a minimum in cooking to maintain a healthy heart.
Eating healthily on a budget
Feeding your family healthy meals with a limited income can sometimes be a challenge. The following video offers some good tips on eating good quality food whilst sticking to a budget.