It’s that old mantra again; you are what you eat; you have to eat healthy to be healthy. It’s true, of course. However, having a little treat is essential (we think) to keeping a happy balance on life.
To help get us on track, we’ve put together 7 tips for the essentials of healthy eating that aren’t a chore but can make a lifestyle difference. Bon appetit, joie de vivre and all that.
- Obvious but! Eat the right amount of calories for how active you are. It’s too easy to overeat. Write it down, it helps to focus the brain as to what’s going into the mouth (and the tummy). Men need around 2,500 calories a day; women around 2,000 calories a day.
- Eat a wide choice of foods to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and nutrients. It’s honestly not rocket science. Eat leafy greens, colourful veg, protein (doesn’t have to be meat, lentils and beans are an excellent source. So are eggs). Oily fish is a great source too; lots of minerals, vitamins and omega 3 fats. Try salmon, sardines or trout.
- Keep an eye on the fats when cooking or serving eg oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta (easier said than done). Cut down on saturated fat and sugar. Unsaturated fat is your friend.
- Eat lots of fruit and veg. The recommendation is for at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables counts as 1 portion of your 5 a day; 30g of dried fruit counts as 1.
- Eat less salt; no more than 6g a day for adults. It can raise blood pressure and lead to heart disease. There are lots of hidden salts in our everyday foods from cereal to bread.
- Get active, get walking. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of getting serious health conditions. It’s also so good for your mind, your self-confidence and putting things in perspective.
- Drink lots (of water). Drink plenty of fluids to stop getting dehydrated; about 6 to 8 glasses every day (2 litres). This is in addition to the fluid you get from the food you eat. Sounds a lot but just factor it in and it’s doable.
And what about those treats?
We’re only human. A little chunk of chocolate, a little whisper of wine, a little nibble on something naughty – it’s allowed. We have to love life after all. And factor in those special occasion celebrations too. Then relax and enjoy every single mouthful. Tomorrow is another day.
Did you know?
- Broccoli contains twice the amount of Vitamin C than an orange
- Cherries are a member of the rose family
- Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries
- Honey is the only edible food that never goes bad