Eating healthily is not everyone’s idea of fun, but these 5 simple steps can help you ensure that you’re doing a few of the essentials to keep your heart and body fit and active.
Step 1 – Drink plenty
You should aim for 8-10 glasses of some form of liquid a day; water is recommended as it adds no extra sugars or calories to your daily intake. Tea, coffee, milk, and fruit juice also count towards your daily intake. Alcohol is probably the thing to avoid or at least steer away from as it causes dehydration.
Step 2 – Eat wholegrain foods
You should base your meals around wholesome foods such as pasta, bread and potatoes; wholegrain is always preferable and the skins of the potatoes are equally as good for you. This is because they contain fibre, vitamins and minerals which are essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Wholegrain foods are also much more filling because they contain plenty of fibre which digests slowly, meaning that you’ll snack less throughout the day if you include them in your main meals.
Step 3 – Aim for 5-a-day
Fruit and veg are essential to any sort of healthy eating plan. This is because they contain lots of vitamins and minerals that are good for the body; they also help to boost the body’s metabolism, make you feel energised, and can help prevent diseases such as heart disease in the future. Fresh, frozen, tinned fruit and vegetables and 100% pure juices all count towards your 5-a-day. However, steer way from eating too much fruit, as they contain a lot of sugars which can be bad for your health (and your teeth) if you eat too many!
Step 4 – Eat 2 portions of fish per week
You should be aiming to include at least 2 portions of fish per week into your diet, including at least one oily fish. Oily fish is one of the few natural food sources that contain vitamin D, which is essential to bone health. Oily fish includes: salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and trout.
Step 5 – Reduce your fat, sugar and salt intake
Although we need some of these things in our diet to remain healthy, it’s vital that not too much of any one is consumed. Lots of saturated fat and high sugar content foods can increase your blood cholesterol levels which can result in later health problems. Too much salt in your diet increases the risk of developing high blood pressure which could then lead to strokes or heart disease. The best approach is to eat everything in moderation.