The Importance of a Healthy Diet

I am sure that we have all suffered that after Christmas feeling when we have  eaten too much, drunk too much and ended up feeling bloated, sluggish and lethargic. We then feel obliged to eat up all the biscuits and chocolates we have had as presents ‘to get them eaten up out of the way’, and how often have we said “I’ll start when all the Christmas chocolate etc has gone”. We all know this just provides an excuse to supplement the chocolates with biscuits, crisps and loads of stodgy food that continue the sluggish and lethargic feeling.

 After the recent bad weather I am sure we all want to get back to normal and start eating good wholesome food that gives us energy.

 We need a healthy and balanced diet to ensure that we maintain a healthy body weight which has been proven to reduce the risk of developing a number of diseases such as cancer, diabetes or heart problems. It can also prevent problems such as osteoporosis and strokes.

 To help ensure that our diets are healthy they should be rich in fruit and vegetables which provide fibre, vitamins and minerals important for healthy body function. Carbohydrates should also be included in the form of potatoes, cereals and grains. Protein in the form of lean meat, fish and dairy products (or vegetarian alternatives) should also be included in moderate amounts. Fats and sugars should be limited but not banned. 

 A varied diet which changes according to seasonal food available ensures that boredom doesn’t set in – experiment with food, enjoy cooking and eating it!!

 The Government (www.food.gov.uk) give the following 8 guidelines for a healthy diet::

• Enjoy your food

• Eat a variety of different foods

• Eat the right amount to be a healthy weight

• Eat plenty of foods rich in starch and fibre

• Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

• Don’t eat too many foods that contain large amounts of fat

• Don’t have sugary foods and drinks too often

• If you drink alcohol, drink sensibly

More information can be found in this downloadable booklet:http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/bghbooklet.pdf

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