The importance of a balanced and healthy diet

The importance of a balanced and healthy diet

Being fit and healthy is something that many of us will want to achieve. Exercise is key to helping yourself feel healthier, however it should also go alongside a balanced diet.

The key to a balanced diet is to eat a wide variety of foods, all in the right proportions. By doing this you can maintain a healthy body weight and ensure that you feel great!

To help you maintain a balanced and healthy diet, we have put together our guide to making sure that you eat everything that your body needs, and in the right portions.

Make sure you get your 5 a day

We are all likely to have heard of getting our 5 a day. But why is it important? Fruits and vegetables are key sources of both minerals and vitamins, and you should aim to eat at least five portions of them each and every day.

Making up around a third of your diet, it is found that people who eat at least 5 portions every day are at a much lower risk of some cancers, stroke and heart disease.

Some people think that it is hard to get 5 portions in their diet, but it really isn’t that difficult. One pear, banana or apple counts as one portion. A slice of pineapple is another portion and three heaped tablespoons of vegetables is another. Why not have a banana with your breakfast, a salad for lunch and some fruit salad as your pudding. Now that doesn’t seem so hard to achieve, does it?

Add in some starchy food

Around one third of everything that we eat should be starchy foods. Potatoes with their skins on are a great way to get some starch in your diet, and if you eat the skin too then you will also be getting the added bonus of vitamins and fibre!

It is a great idea to try and eat wholemeal or wholegrain varieties of starchy food if you can as they contain more fibre, vitamins and minerals than the white versions.

Brown rice, brown bread and wholewheat pasta are the best types of starchy food to add into your meals.

Don’t be afraid of dairy foods

Dairy foods such as cheese, yoghurt and milk are often seen as being the bad guys when it comes to healthy eating. But the truth is that they are great sources of protein and contain plenty of calcium too.

If you opt for lower fat varieties such as low fat cheese, semi-skimmed milk or cottage cheese and fat free yoghurt, then you can enjoy these tasty foods all without worrying about the fat levels. If you cannot eat standard dairy foods, then dairy alternatives such as soya milks and yoghurts make for a great alternative.

Enjoy some proteins

Protein is vital for when your body needs to grow and repair itself. Protein rich foods come in a variety of different forms. One of the most eaten is meat. Meat is not only a great source of protein, but it also contains iron, zinc and vitamins B and B12.

It is a good idea to try and eat as much lean meat and skinless poultry as you can, as this will cut down on the amount fat that you have in your diet.

Fish is another great source of protein, and it is also rich in those all important omega-3 fatty acids. You should try to have around 2 portions of fish every week, and even better if one of them is oily fish. You can choose from fresh, frozen or canned, but just remember that canned can have added salt in it.

Nuts, eggs and pulses are alternative sources of protein in your diet. Nuts are also high in fibre, but they can contain high levels of fat, which means that you should always eat in moderation.

Try to limit your saturated fat and sugar

While there are foods that you should definitely eat more of, there are also types of foods that you should avoid as much as you can. Sugary foods, and foods that are high in saturated fat are great examples of this.

Too much saturated fat can increase the risk of you developing heart disease and high cholesterol, whilst those foods that are high in sugar will also increase the risk of you being obese as well as having tooth decay.

Up your water intake

Alongside your plans to eat better, you should also try to drink plenty of water too. Around 8 glasses each and every day. Keeping hydrated is not only great to stave off dehydration, but it also is great for improving the look of your skin and hair.

Plan your meals in advance

One of the keys to healthy eating is thinking about your dinners and planning in advance. However, cooking plenty of dinners in advance may think that you are concerned that they will go off before you get a chance to eat them. A chest freezer, just like the ones that we stock here at Capital Cooling is the ideal solution.

With plenty of space inside, you can pack them full of different meals, preserving them and making sure that they can be enjoyed at a later date. All without worrying about them being past their best.

So, now you know the key to eating a balanced and healthy diet. Why not see if you can make some changes to your diet and feel the benefit of a better diet?

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