These eight easy-to-do tips cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make better choices for your body.
To keep a healthy diet, you need to eat the right number of calories for how active you are. This makes sure that the amount of energy you take in matches how much energy you use.
If you eat or drink more than your body needs, the extra energy will be stored as fat if it is not used. This will cause you to gain weight. If you don't eat enough food and drink enough water, you will lose weight.
Another important thing you can do to make sure you have a healthy diet and give your body all the nutrients it needs is to eat a variety of foods.
According to recommendations, men should try to eat about 2,500 calories per day (10,500 kilojoules). About 2,000 calories a day is the right amount for women (8,400 kilojoules).
Most people in the UK eat more calories than they need every day and should try to cut back on how many calories they eat.
1. Make your meals out of starchy carbs with a lot of fiber.
It's a good idea to base your meals on starchy carbohydrates with more fiber because they are a good source of energy and essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Starchy carbohydrates with a lot of fiber take longer to digest. This can help you feel fuller for longer and give you more steady energy throughout the day.
Here are some examples of starchy carbs that are high in fiber that you can add to your meals:
- Whole-grain pasta and bread
- Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and others
- Sweet potatoes and potatoes with the skin on
- Beans and lentils
- Corn and other plants like pumpkin and squash
- Cereals with whole grains like oats, muesli, and bran flakes
When you're making a meal, try to make starchy carbs the base and include a range of colors and types. To make a balanced and healthy meal, you can also add lots of vegetables, some lean protein, and healthy fats like olive oil and nuts. Don't forget to drink a lot of water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated and help your body break down food.
2. Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables.
A healthy, well-balanced diet should include a lot of fruit and vegetables. They give us a lot of important vitamins, minerals, and fiber that our bodies need to work well.
Also, most fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in water, which can help you keep a healthy weight and stay hydrated. They can also help lower the chance of getting long-term diseases like heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.
Here are some suggestions for how to eat more fruits and vegetables:
- Try to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. This could include a piece of fruit for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and some cooked vegetables for dinner.
- Choose fruits and vegetables of different shapes and colors to get a wide range of nutrients. Try to add leafy greens, red and orange vegetables, and citrus fruits, for example.
- Add fruit and vegetables to the snacks you eat. For example, you could snack on carrot sticks, celery, or apple slices with nut butter.
- Use fruit and vegetables in the food you make. You can put vegetables in soups, stews, and casseroles, and you can bake with fruit or use it to top yogurt or oatmeal.
Remember that fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables can all be healthy choices, but canned options may have extra sugar or salt. In general, eating more fruits and vegetables is good for your health.
3. Eat more fish, including a serving of oily fish
Eating more fish, especially oily fish, is a great way to improve your diet and health. Fish is a good source of high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals, and eating fish regularly has been linked to a number of health benefits, such as better heart health, brain function, and joint health.
Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are especially good for you because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association says that to get these important nutrients, you should eat at least two servings of fatty fish per week.
Here are some suggestions on how to eat more fish:
- Choose different kinds of fish. Different kinds of fish have different kinds of nutrients, so it's good to eat a variety. Salmon, tuna, and trout are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and shellfish like mussels and oysters are high in iron.
- Fish can be grilled, baked, or poached. These ways of cooking are better for you than frying and can help keep the fish's nutrients.
- Pay attention to mercury levels. Some fish, like shark, swordfish, and king mackerel, have a lot of mercury in them, which is bad for your health. It's best to eat less of these kinds of fish and choose ones with less mercury instead.
- Try to eat fish at least twice a week, and make sure at least one of those times is an oily fish. For a quick and easy option, you can also use canned salmon, sardines, or tuna.
In general, eating more fish is a simple and tasty way to improve your health and well-being.
4. Eat less sugar and fat that isn't good for you. Saturated fats
A healthy, well-balanced diet should include less sugar and saturated fat. Saturated fat can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease, while eating a lot of sugar can make you gain weight, give you cavities, and make you more likely to get long-term diseases like diabetes.
Here are some ways to cut down on the amount of saturated fat and sugar you eat:
- Choose meat and poultry with less fat, and try not to eat too much processed meat. Instead, choose protein-rich plant foods like beans, lentils, and tofu.
- When you cook, use vegetable oils like olive oil or canola oil, and eat less butter and other solid fats.
- Avoid foods like fatty meats, cheese, cream, and butter that are high in saturated fat.
- Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products, like skim milk and yogurt, and cut back on desserts and snacks that are high in fat.
- Avoid drinks with a lot of sugar, like soda, sports drinks, and coffee and tea that have been sweetened. Instead, drink water, tea or coffee that is not sweetened.
- Limit your intake of sugary foods like candy, pastries, and desserts. Instead, choose fresh fruit or snacks like nuts or seeds that aren't sweetened.
Remember that it's better to make small changes to your diet that will last than to try to make big changes all at once. You can improve your overall health and well-being by slowly cutting back on saturated fat and sugar and replacing these foods with healthier ones.
5. Eat less salt. Adults shouldn't eat more than 6g of salt a day.
To stay healthy, it is important to eat less salt. Too much salt in the diet can cause high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease or a stroke. Adults should not eat more than 6 grams of salt per day, according to health experts. Here are some ways to cut down on how much salt you eat:
- Carefully read the labels on food. Even though they don't taste salty, many packaged and processed foods have a lot of salt in them. Look at the labels to see how much salt is in the food and choose low-salt options whenever you can.
- Use less salt when cooking. Instead of salt, use herbs and spices to season your food when you cook. Try out different flavor combinations until you find ones that you like.
- Cut back on foods that are high in salt. Foods like processed meats, canned foods, and fast food are high in salt. Try to eat less of these foods and choose ones with less salt instead.
- Take care when using condiments. Some condiments, like ketchup, soy sauce, and others, have a lot of salt in them. Use these in small amounts or choose versions with less salt.
- Pick whole, fresh foods. The salt content of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is low by nature. Try to eat more of these foods and less of processed foods.
Don't forget that cutting down on salt is just one part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. Focus on eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, to support your overall health and well-being.
6. Get moving and maintain a healthy weight
Being active and keeping your weight at a healthy level are important parts of a healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity can help lower the risk of chronic diseases, improve mental health and well-being, and improve overall physical fitness. Here are some ideas on how to stay active and keep a healthy weight:
- Find activities you enjoy. The best way to stay physically active is to do things you enjoy and can fit into your schedule. Walk, run, swim, or ride a bike to find out what works best for you.
- Aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity. This could include things like walking quickly, dancing, or riding a bike. You can also try to get 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity like running or high-intensity interval training per week (HIIT).
- Strength training should be part of your routine. Strength training can help you build muscle and increase the density of your bones, both of which are important for your health as a whole. Try doing push-ups, squats, and lunges as part of your regular routine.
- Keep your weight in a good range. Aim for a balanced diet that is full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to keep a healthy weight. Try to stay away from foods that are highly processed and high in sugar, as they can make you gain weight.
- Set goals that are doable. Setting goals that are reasonable can help you keep going and keep on track. Start with small goals, like going for a 10-minute walk every night after dinner, and slowly build up the length and intensity of your workouts over time.
Remember that you should talk to a doctor or nurse before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you already have a health problem. They can give you advice about what kinds of activities are safe and good for your needs.
7. Don't run out of water
It's important for your health to stay hydrated, and it's best to try to avoid getting thirsty in the first place. When you feel thirsty, it means that your body is already dehydrated. Here are some things you can do to stay hydrated all day:
- Drink a lot of water. Even if you don't feel thirsty, try to drink water all day long. Bring a water bottle with you so you can stay hydrated while you're out and about.
- Eat foods that will keep you hydrated. Fruits, vegetables, and soups contain a lot of water and can help you stay hydrated.
- Limit your intake of drinks that make you lose water. Some drinks, like coffee, tea, and alcohol, can make you lose water. Try not to drink too much of these drinks and instead drink water.
- Pay attention to the color of your urine. Your body is getting enough water if your urine is pale yellow or clear. If the urine is dark yellow or amber, you need to drink more water.
- Think about how active you are. To stay hydrated, you may need to drink more water when you're active or when it's hot or humid outside.
Keep in mind that staying hydrated is important for staying healthy and helping your body work. Make sure to pay attention to your body and drink water often throughout the day to avoid getting thirsty.
8. Do not skip breakfast
People often say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gives you the energy and nutrients you need to get your day off to a good start. If you don't eat breakfast, you might feel tired, have trouble focusing, and eat too much later in the day. Here are some ways to make sure you don't forget to eat breakfast:
- Make plans. To make sure you have time for breakfast in the morning, you need to plan ahead. You might want to make breakfast the night before or set out the things you'll need.
- Pick breakfast foods that are good for you. A healthy breakfast should have the right amount of carbs, protein, and good fats. Think about things like whole-grain toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit and granola, or an omelet with vegetables.
- Make it a habit to eat breakfast. Try to stick to the same breakfast routine every day, like eating at the same time. This can help you get into the habit of eating breakfast and make sure you don't skip it.
- Don't let your busy schedule stop you. If you don't have much time in the morning, a breakfast smoothie, a hard-boiled egg, or a piece of fruit with nut butter are all portable options.
- Pay attention to your body. If you don't feel very hungry when you wake up, try a small breakfast and see how you feel. You might find that once you start eating, your hunger grows.
Don't forget that breakfast is a key part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. You can make sure you start the day on the right foot by planning ahead, choosing healthy options, and making breakfast a part of your daily routine.