There are lots of simple steps you can take to improve
your diet and therefore your overall health.
A healthy diet contains a variety of foods. Here are eight tips
to help you eat healthily.
1. Base your meals on starchy
Starchy foods such as bread, cereals, rice,
pasta and potatoes are a really important part of a healthy diet
and should make up about a third of the food you eat. Try to
include at least one starchy food with each of your main meals.
So, you could start the day with a wholegrain breakfast cereal,
have a sandwich for lunch, and potatoes, pasta or rice with your
Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram
they contain less than half the calories of fat.
2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
people are still not eating enough fruit and vegetables. Try to eat
5 a day - at least five portions of a variety of fruit and
vegetables every day. You can choose from fresh, frozen, tinned,
dried or juiced, but remember potatoes count as a starchy food, not
as portions of fruit and vegetables.
It does not need to cost you more to eat more fruit and
vegetables. For a cheaper buy, choose produce in season and look
out for special offers in the local markets and shops. Even better,
visit one of the local farmers’ markets in North Somerset to
find a great selection of delicious and locally grown and produced
Think about growing your own, such as tomatoes in a grow-bag or
carrots in a tub. You can swap any extra produce with friends and
3. Eat more fish
You should eat at least
one portion of oily fish each week. It is an excellent source of
protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. If you aim for at
least two portions of fish a week, this can include salmon,
mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines, pilchards or eel.
You can choose from fresh, frozen or canned - but remember that
canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.
4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
to cut down on food that is high in saturated fat and have foods
that are rich in unsaturated fat instead, such as vegetable oils
(including sunflower, rapeseed and olive oil), oily fish, avocados,
nuts and seeds.
Most people in the UK eat too much sugar. You should try to eat
fewer foods containing added sugar, such as sweets, cakes and
biscuits, and drink fewer sugary soft and fizzy drinks.
Try to eat these sorts of foods less often or in small amounts:
meat pies, sausages, meat with visible white fat, hard cheese,
butter and lard, pastry, cakes and biscuits, cream, soured cream
and crème fraîche, coconut oil, coconut cream or palm oil.
5. Try to eat less salt - no more than 6g a
You may think you do not eat much salt,
especially if you do not add it to your food. But it is often not
that clear. Three-quarters (75 per cent) of the salt we eat is
already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups,
sauces and ready meals. So you could easily be eating too much salt
without realising it.
Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure too high,
making you three times more likely to develop heart disease or have
6. Get active and try to be a healthy
Physical activity is a good way of using up
extra calories, and helps control our weight. But this does not
mean you need to join a gym. Try to get active every day and build
up the amount you do. For example, you could try to fit in as much
walking as you can into your day.
7. Drink plenty of water
We should be
drinking about 6 to 8 glasses (1.2 litres) of water, or other
fluids, every day to stop us getting dehydrated. When the weather
is warm or when we get active, our bodies need more than this. But
avoid drinking soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added
There is nothing wrong with the occasional alcoholic drink, but
too much can cause problems. Alcohol is also high in calories, so
cutting down could help you control your weight.
8. Do not skip breakfast
easy-to-prepare, healthy breakfast ideas are:
- Fresh fruit with wholegrain breakfast cereal and reduced fat
milk. Toast with a thin spread of margarine (polyunsaturated or
- Toast with cheese and tomato. Hot or cold reduced fat
- Rolled oats with sultanas and reduced fat milk. Toast with a
thin spread of margarine (polyunsaturated or mono-unsaturated).
- Baked beans on toast. Orange juice.
Ideally a healthy diet should go hand in hand
For more information visit these other websites:
Live Well - by the NHS
- Eatwell - the
healthy diet section of the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA)
life on - by the Scottish Government
For more information about healthy and active lifestyles contact