5 steps to eating well

Healthy balanced diet

Eating the right food is not always easy. There are temptations everywhere, and after a long day it is especially easy to reach out for an unhealthy option for dinner. However, there are many simple things you can do to make healthier options as part of a daily habit which can also make you feel good.

Health Advisor, Alpana Rathor, says “People can often choose unhealthy options which are high in either salt, fat or sugar because they like how it tastes, but we can often find healthier options which are equally tasty and nutritious.  We can start off gradually eating better by swapping the unhealthy options with healthier alternatives, such as changing butter for vegetable oil, salt for pepper and herbs and skimming off any excess fat from curries and stews.”

Alpana also recommends that we are mindful about our portions sizes and to try and eat a balanced diet rich in wholegrains, fruits and vegetables, lean meat, pulses and beans and low fat dairy options.  It is best to keep food high in sugar, fat and salt to a minimum.  Why not download the Change4Life Be Food Smart app here to help you choose healthier options.

5 tips to eat well:

1.      Eat more fish

It is important that people eat fish at least twice a week; fish is a lean source of protein and has many other nutrients such as zinc and calcium which are important for your body. There are many different types of fish you can cook for yourself or for your family. Salmon is one of the most common types of fish, but how about trying mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines or pilchards. These types of fish are oily fish; oily fish contain omega-3 fats that can help prevent heart disease. Try to eat at least one portion of oily fish per week.

2.      Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

We need some fat in our diet to help our bodies absorb vitamins and stay healthy, but we shouldn’t have too much especially saturated fat. Saturated fat in our diet increases the risk of developing heart disease. An adult male should consume no more than 30g of saturated fat a day, adult female should consume no more than 20g and children should consume less than adults. When you are out shopping look for traffic lights on the food labels, choose foods that have more green on the food labels as this will be a healthier option.

3.      Your standard 5 A DAY

It is important to eat fruit and vegetables every day.  What many people may not know is that you should at leasteat five portions of fruit and veg a day, and not have it all in one go.  Alpana says “People often forget that frozen and dried fruit still counts as one of your five a day. Frozen fruits and vegetables contain the same amount of vitamins and minerals as the fresh variety and it does not go bad quickly.” She says people often waste a lot of fresh food because it goes off quickly. Next time when you are making a curry try adding some frozen vegetables or use frozen fruits in your smoothie. 

4.      Drink 6-8 glasses of water every day

Water is important to keep yourself hydrated, and it is the healthiest drink you can drink. To help you consume more water try and have a glass of water with every meal and in between meals.  Sugary drinks and tea and coffee with sugar in between meals can contribute towards dental carries so try and swap these drinks for water.

5.      Don't skip breakfast

A healthy breakfast is important if you want to have a healthy balanced diet. It provides you energy for whatever challenges you may have to face throughout the day. 

“If you can’t eat a proper breakfast first thing in the morning, an apple or banana in the morning is better than nothing” says Alpana

Research shows that people who skip breakfast regularly are more likely to become overweight as a good breakfast helps kick start your metabolism.

There you have it: five simple tips on how to eat well.

If you want to find out more on healthy eating see here