7 steps to a healthier diet

Saturday, 1st October 2016

We often get told to eat a balanced healthy diet, but what does it involve?

Here are 7 easy-to-follow tips on how to eat healthier over the coming months:

Bread, potatoes, pasta, rice and noodles are all starchy foods containing fibre, vitamins and minerals and should be the base of all meals.

Fruit and vegetables contain different combinations of vitamins and minerals this includes fresh, frozen and tinned. Try grating vegetables like carrots and courgettes into bolognaise or add lots of vegetables to homemade tomato sauce and blend in order to increase your daily intake. Don’t forget your 5 a day!

Fish is essential for a balanced diet especially oily fish which helps with bone development for instance salmon, fresh tuna, sardines, mackerel and trout. Choose fresh, frozen, smoked or canned but remember to check the salt contained in smoked/canned fish as this can be high.

Although we need some fat in our diet too much fat may lead to weight gain. Replace saturated fats from butter, cheese, cakes and pasties with unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, oily fish and avocados.

A high salt intake is associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure putting you at a greater risk of developing a stroke or heart disease. Most of our salt intake comes from processed foods so always check food labels for the salt content. Try using extra herbs, spices, citrus juices, mustard or vinegar to flavour foods so that you can use less salt in your recipes.

Aim for 8 – 10 glasses of fluid per day. Water is the best choice as it hydrates you without adding any extra calories to your daily intake. However most types of drink count including water, tea, coffee, soft drinks, milk and fruit juices.

A healthy breakfast can provide fibre, calories, vitamins and minerals important for health. Choose wholegrain cereals, porridge or wholemeal toast with fruit for a healthy start to the day.

At times it can seem hard but try and maintain a healthy, balanced diet - Trust me, your body will thank you for it!

By John Rawcliffe, Personal Trainer