Eat a variety of foods.
For good health, we need more than 40 different nutrients, and no single food can supply them all. It is not about a single meal; it is about a balanced food choice over time that will make a difference!
Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates
About half the calories in our diet should come from foods rich in carbohydrates, such as cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread. It is a good idea to include at least one of these at every meal. Wholegrain foods, like wholegrain bread, pasta, and cereals, will increase our fibre intake.
Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving us enough vitamins, minerals and fibre. We should try to eat at least five servings a day. For example, a glass of fresh fruit juice at breakfast, perhaps an apple and a piece of watermelon as snacks, and a good portion of different vegetables at each meal.
Drink plenty of fluids
Adults need to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day! Or more if it’s boiling or they are physically active. Water is the best source, of course, and we can use tap or mineral water, sparkling or non-sparkling, plain or flavoured. Fruit juices, tea, soft drinks, milk and other drinks, can all be okay – from time to time.
Maintain a healthy body weight
The right weight for each of us depends on factors like our gender, height, age, and genes. Being affected by obesity and overweight increases the risks of a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
Excess body fat comes from eating more than we need. The extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient – protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol, but fat is the most concentrated source of energy. Physical activity helps us spend energy, and makes us feel good. The message is reasonably simple: if we are gaining weight, we need to eat less and be more active!
Get on the move; make it a habit!
Physical activity is essential for people of all weight ranges and health conditions. It helps us burn off the extra calories; it is good for the heart and circulatory system; it maintains or increases our muscle mass; it helps us focus, and improves overall health well-being. We don’t have to be top athletes to get on the move! One hundred fifty minutes per week of moderate physical activity is advised, and it can quickly become part of our daily routine.
Eat regularly, control the portion size.
Eating a variety of foods, regularly, and in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help control hunger, but snacking should not replace proper meals. For snacks, we could choose yoghurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruits or vegetables (like carrot sticks), unsalted nuts, or perhaps some bread with cheese.