Eating a healthy, well balanced diet for your individual needs ensures you are improving your general wellbeing not just managing your weight.
Healthy eating, whatever your age, can help you to lead a healthier and happier life as well as reduce your risk of some long term conditions such as risk of heart disease (heart attacks), strokes and some cancers or help you manage those health conditions you might already have, for example Diabetes.
This course shows you it does not have to be difficult to make small changes one step at a time and helps you to maintain changes in your diet or lifestyle so you can keep feeling and seeing the benefits.
Eating well is about ensuring you eat a variety of foods you enjoy which provide the body with key nutrients for optimal health. Healthy eating is ensuring your diet includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, along with a good amount of starchy carbohydrate food such as wholegrain breads and cereals. We also need to ensure a good lean protein intake such as meat, fish, and lentils along with some dairy foods.
The Eatwell Plate below gives us guidance on how our diet should look.
All of this will be explained in the course but to give you a general guide the British Dietetic Association have a leaflet on Heathy Eating https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/HealthyEating.pdf
Let us have a quick look at the basics here:-
Eat Well by….
- Eating lots of fruit and vegetables. Aim for 5-a-day. This can be dried, frozen, fresh or tinned – they all count. For more information on what counts as a portion have a look at the Change for Life guide http://www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/five-a-day.aspx or The British Dietetic Association 5-a-day leaflet https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/FruitVeg.pdf.
- Eating Starchy foods at each meal, this helps to regulate blood glucose (sugar) levels, which is good for diabetes, but also to help you manage mood and food cravings. Opting for wholegrains will improve the amount of fibre, vitamins and minerals your body receives https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/wholegrains.pdf.
- Remember to include dairy into the diet and opt for low fat versions where possible, e.g. semi-skimmed milk, low fat yoghurts and lower fat cheeses such as Edam or cottage cheese.
- The protein group includes foods such as meat, fish, eggs and beans, but try to opt for lean proteins where possible or go lean which means removing the skin off chicken and all the excess fat on meats (the white part). Fish should be eaten twice a week, one of which oily (sardines, mackerel, kippers, trout, pilchards, salmon etc). Try to eat less red meat and particularly avoid processed red meats (click here for more detail from the World Cancer Research Fund on the risk of cancer and red meat http://wcrf-uk.org/uk/preventing-cancer/ways-reduce-cancer-risk/red-and-processed-meat-and-cancer-prevention)
- Limit your intake of foods high in fat and high in sugar like cakes, biscuits, crisps and fizzy drinks. These will provide many calories without necessarily the vitamins and minerals, which you can obtain from the other groups.
Healthy eating does not need to be costly. Eating on a budget but in a healthy way can be achievable; check out this information guide for more information on Eat Well, Spend Less from the British Dietetic Association.