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Healthy Eating Information


Nutritional information

 

Experts agree that a good diet is important for health. Follow these simple guidelines for healthy eating:

  • Enjoy your food.

  • Eat a variety of different foods.

  • Eat the right amount to be a healthy weight.

  • Eat plenty of food rich in starch and fibre.

  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

  • Don't eat too many foods that contain a lot of fat.

  • Don't have sugary foods and drinks too often.

  • If you drink alcohol, drink sensibly.

The Balance of Good food

 

For most people, the move towards a healthy, balanced diet means eating more bread, breakfast cereals, potatoes, pasta, rice and more fruit and vegetables.

The key To a healthy diet is simple: it is recommended that you eat a variety of foods from the five groups illustrated, in the proportions shown.

Starch and Fibre

 

Foods like bread, breakfast cereal, pasta, potatoes and rice are the main source of starch and fibre in our diets. They are also a good source of other nutrients and most of us need to eat more of these foods.

 

Many people believe that starchy foods are fattening. But they are not, unless they are served, or cooked wit fat. For example, chips contain around three times as many calories as boiled potatoes.

 

Wholegrain varieties of starchy foods are a particularly good choice. Foods such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and wholegrain pasta are rich in the type of fibre that helps to prevent constipation. They also contain more vitamins (including folic acid) and minerals. They are also more filling.

 

Fruit and vegetables also contain fibre. The type of fibre found in fruit and vegetables (and oats and beans) may help to keep blood cholesterol levels down.

When you have plenty of fibre in your diet you need to make sure that you also drink plenty of fluid.

 

Fats

 

A small amount of fat in the diet is essential for your health, but eating too much fat is linked to a higher risk of coronary heart disease, and becoming overweight.

 

There are two main types of fat - saturates and unsaturates.

 

Eating too many foods that are high in saturates increase cholesterol levels in the blood, so keep these to a minimum. Meat, butter and other spreads provide most of the saturates in our diet. Pies, cakes, biscuits and chocolates are also high in saturates.

 

Some unsaturates (which include polyunsaturates and monounsaturates) are necessary in small quantities for good health. Rich source of unsaturates are vegetable oils, such as rapeseed, sunflower, corn, Soya and olive oil, and soft margarines labeled "high in polyunsaturates", nuts and oily fish such as herring, mackerel and sardines. Try to eat fish more often - aim for twice a week, including oily fish at least once a week.

 

How to Eat Less Fat

  • Choose low - or reduced fat spreads (preferably high in mono or polyunsaturated).

  • Use semi-skimmed or skimmed milk.

  • Use low-fat yoghurt, or low-fat fromage frais instead of cream, evaporated or condensed milk.

  • Try half-fat hard cheese or cottage cheese.

  • Avoid oily salad dressings and mayonnaise.

  • Cut down on crisps, chocolates, cakes, pastries and biscuits.

  • Remove the skin from chicken and turkey before cooking.

  • Grill, microwave, steam, poach, bake or boil foods rather than fry.

  • Buy the leanest cuts of meat you can afford, and trim of all the visible fat.

  •  Cut down on fatty meat products like beefburgers, sausages, mince and pies.

  • Use as little oil and fat for cooking as possible.

Sugar

 

Sugar contains only calories, with no other nutrients, and eating sugary foods and drinks too often is a major cause of tooth decay.

If you are overweight, cutting back on sugar is one of the easiest ways to cut calories without losing nutrients.

 

How to Cut Down on Sugar

  • Try drinking tea and coffee with out sugar.

  • When buying soft drinks, choose low-calorie ones or unsweetened fruit juices.

  • Buy fruit tinned in natural juices rather than in syrup.

  • Go easy on cakes, biscuits, sweet pastries, sweets and chocolate.

  • Cut down on jam, marmalade, syrup, treacle and honey.

  • Choose wholegrain breakfast cereals rather than those coated with sugar or honey

  • Try halving the sugar you use in recipes. It works for most things (except jam, meringues and ice-cream)

  • Use low-sugar varieties of bought puddings and desserts.

Salt

 

Too much salt in the diet can lead to high blood pressure, which can cause coronary heart disease, kidney disease and strokes.

Most of us eat more salt than we need. On average, our salt intake needs to be reduced by one third.

 

How to Eat Less Salt

  • Use less or no salt in cooking

  • Always taste food before adding salt. Get out of the habit of putting salt on food automatically.

  • Cut down on crisps, salted nuts and other salty snacks.

  • When buying tinned vegetables choose ones marked no salt added.

  • Cut down on salted meats like bacon, ham and salt beef.

  • Stock cubes are very salty. Try making your own stock or use less stock cube and more herbs and spices for flavour.

  • Many ready-prepared savoury dishes and sauces can be very salty. Check the label for those with less added salt.

 

 

       

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