Healthy eating advice

Leighton, Sarah and their son in Wainscott
Leighton, Sarah (and their son) in Wainscott say gardening allows their family to be active and healthy together, without spending a fortune - they love the exercise and their son loves the mess!
 

Eating a healthy diet is not just for those wanting to lose weight. It is important for everyone to ensure that the body gets the important nutrients needed to function to the best of its ability. A healthy diet can also help towards preventing diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Take part in our FREE and fun healthy eating workshops. Come along to talk about the Eatwell Plate, food labelling and lots of fun facts about nutrition. Receive a free bowl of fruit and your child will get a free t shirt.

 

  • Phone: 01634 334309
  • Email: change4life@medway.gov.uk

To have a healthy diet, you should try to follow these eight simple steps:

  • Try to base your meals on starchy foods
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
  • Eat more fish
  • Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
  • Try to eat less salt – adults no more than 6g a day
  • Get active and try to be a healthy weight
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Try not to skip breakfast

Find out if you


Fruit and vegetables

About a third of your diet should be made up of fruit and vegetables. An easier way to remember this is to eat 5 A DAY. Try to eat at least five portions of fruit and/or vegetables every day.  Fruit or vegetables can be fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced.

ONE portion = 80g = any of these 

  • 1 apple, banana, pear, orange or other similar sized fruit
  • 2 plums or similar sized fruit
  • ½ a grapefruit or avocado
  • 1 slice of large fruit, such as melon or pineapple
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables (raw, cooked, frozen or tinned)
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of beans and pulses (however much you eat, beans and pulses count as a maximum of one portion a day)
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of fruit salad (fresh or tinned in fruit juice) or stewed fruit
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of dried fruit (such as raisins and apricots)
  • 1 handful of grapes, cherries or berries
  • a dessert bowl of salad
  • a glass (150ml) of fruit juice (however much you drink, fruit juice counts as a maximum of one portion a day)

Try to have one or two portions of either fruit or vegetables with every meal, or as snacks. Start the day right by putting a banana on you cereal or swap your mid-morning biscuit for a handful of grapes. But, remember potatoes don't count because they're a starchy food.


Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods

This food group should make up a third of your diet as they are the body’s main source of energy and provide a large amount of nutrients such as fibre, B vitamins and iron.

You should choose from wraps, flat breads, bagels, chapattis, potatoes, cereals, lentils, rice, couscous, and maize. Go for wholegrain varieties (e.g. granary bread, brown rice and wholemeal pasta) as these will keep hunger away for longer.


Meat, fish, eggs and beans

These foods are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals (e.g. iron) and include:

  • beef, pork, chicken, turkey and lamb
  • white fish e.g. coley and oily fish e.g. haddock
  • eggs
  • all varieties of beans and vegetarian alternatives

When choosing meat, try to go for the leanest cut you can afford. Cut off any additional fat (e.g. rind and skin) to reduce the amount of fat you are eating. Processed meats tend to be higher in fat so try to eat sparingly or opt for the leanest varieties e.g. lean mince. White meats (e.g. chicken, turkey and fish) are lower in fat than red meat (e.g. beef, pork and lamb).

You should try and eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be an oily fish (e.g. salmon, haddock and mackerel). 


Milk and dairy foods

Foods in this group include cheese, fromage frais, milk (all varieties), yoghurt, cream and butter. They are good sources of protein and calcium. However, some varieties can be high in fat so you should watch how much you eat by choosing smaller portions or a lower fat variety wherever possible.


Foods high in fat or sugar

Foods from this food group should be eaten sparingly. The body does need some fat in the diet, but in the UK we eat too much so you should try to reduce or change the type of fat to be healthier. There are two main types of fat found in food:

  1. Saturated fat - found in fatty cuts of meat, processed meats (e.g. sausages), butters, cakes, pastries and cream. It is strongly linked to increased cholesterol levels in the blood.
  2. Unsaturated fats - found in oily fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable/seed oils. A better source of fat, that can help lower cholesterol levels as part of a balanced diet.


 

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