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Back to Eat well. These 8 practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make healthier choices. The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you'll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you'll lose weight. You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you're getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
It's recommended that men have around 2, calories a day 10, kilojoules. Women should have around 2, calories a day 8, kilojoules. Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals. Choose higher fibre I NEED TO BE EATEN wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on.
They contain more fibre than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer. Try to include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat. Keep an eye on the fats you add when you're cooking or serving these types of foods because that's what increases the calorie content — for example, oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.
It's recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. Getting your 5 A Day is easier than it sounds.
Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit? A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A portion of dried fruit which should be kept to mealtimes is 30g. A ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as 1 portion, but limit the amount you have to no more than 1 glass a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage your teeth.
Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt. Find out more about fish and shellfish.
You need some fat in your diet, but it's important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you're eating. There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day. Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5. Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spre, oily fish and avocados.
For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee. Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay. Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy measured in kilojoules or caloriesand if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.
Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies. This is the type of sugar you should be cutting down on, rather than the sugar found in fruit and milk. Food labels can help. Use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than Get tips on cutting down I NEED TO BE EATEN sugar in your diet. Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.
Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much. About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, bre and sauces. Use food labels to help you cut down.
More than 1. Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt about a teaspoonful a day. Younger children should have even less. Get tips on cutting down on salt in your diet. As well as eating healthily, regular exercise may help reduce your risk of getting serious health conditions. It's also important for your overall health and wellbeing. about the benefits of exercise and physical activity guidelines for adults. Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke.
Being underweight could also affect your health. Most adults need to lose weight by eating fewer calories. If you're trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight. Check whether you're a healthy weight by using the BMI healthy weight calculator.
Start the NHS weight loss plana week weight loss guide that combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity. I NEED TO BE EATEN you're underweight, see underweight adults. If you're worried about your weight, ask your GP or a dietitian for advice. You need to drink plenty of fluids to stop you getting dehydrated. The government recommends drinking 6 to 8 glasses every day. This is in addition to the fluid you get from the food you eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, lower fat milk and lower sugar drinks, including tea and coffee, are healthier choices.
Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, as they're high in calories. They're also bad for your teeth. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than ml a day, which is a small glass. But a healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet, and can help you get the nutrients you need for good health.
A wholegrain lower sugar cereal with semi-skimmed milk and fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and healthier breakfast. last reviewed: 12 April Next review due: 12 April Why 5 A Day? What counts? Fat: the facts Salt: the facts Sugar: the facts Top sources of added sugar What does calories look like? Red meat and the risk of bowel cancer What is a Mediterranean diet? How to prepare and cook food safely How to store food and leftovers 10 ways to prevent food poisoning Why you should never wash raw chicken Cooking turkey How to wash fruit and vegetables The truth about sweeteners Sprouted seeds safety advice.
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How to Eat a Healthy Diet