Eating a healthy and balanced diet involves eating the right foods, in the right amounts that will provide your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to function properly. It’s estimated that an average women needs about 2000 calories a day and the average man requires about 2500 calories a day. The precise amount depends on a range of factors including, your age, height and how active you are.
Base Your Meals On Carbohydrates
Starchy carbs should make up just over one third of the food you consume. Things like potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, and cereals. Wholegrain varieties contain more fiber and will help you feel full for longer, perfect for when you are trying to lose weight.
The majority of people should try and eat more starchy foods. Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates aren’t that bad for you, and gram for gram provide half the calories of fat.
Keep an eye on the fats you add when you’re cooking or serving these types of foods because that’s what increases the calorie content, for example cooking oil on fries, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.
Eat More Fruit and Veg
Eating at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day is vital for maintaining a healthy body as they contain different combinations of vitamins and minerals. You can often add fruit and veg to meals in ways you may not have considered before, for example strawberries in a rocket salad, or grated carrot and zucchini into a Bolognese sauce.
Cut Down on Saturated Fats and Sugars
Swapping saturated fat, found in butter, chocolate, and cheese, with unsaturated fat, found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, oily fish, and avocado, can help lower the level of cholesterol in your blood and improve the overall health of your heart.
Eating too much sugar, especially in between meals, can increase your risk of tooth decay and will add a lot of extra calories to your diet, so cut down on sugary foods and drinks, get rid of cereals high in sugar, cakes, biscuits, and sodas, and you’ll feel the benefits within no time.
Avoid Adding Salt!
Eating too much salt is proven to raise your blood pressure. People that have high blood pressure are a lot more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.
Even if you don’t add much table salt to your food, you may be surprised to find out that you’re still eating too much. About 75% of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, and breads.
Never Let Yourself Get Thirsty
Always try to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid every day. Water is the obvious choice as it hydrates you without adding any extra calories to your diet. Other sensible choices include tea and coffee without sweetener, sugar free sodas, and low fat milk.