You’ve probably heard the saying ‘You Are what you eat’. It is a recognised fact that eating a balanced healthy diet is a vital part of maintaining good health and feeling good.
While there is an array of diets on the market with various “quirks”, essentially a healthy diet comes down to two key factors:
- Consuming calories in accordance with what you use up. If you eat and drink more than you use up then it stands to reason that you put on weight and if you eat less calories than you burn up then you’ll lose weight.
- Eating a wide range of foods to ensure that you are getting a balanced diet and your body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
You can use the ‘eatwell plate’ to help you work out what a balanced diet looks like. The ‘eatwell plate’ shows you how much of what you eat daily should come from each food group.
You can check how “balanced” your diet is right now and work on moving more towards the balance shown.
Here are some practical tips to get you started:
- Base your meals on starchy foods. This food group should make up about one third of the food you eat. Choose wholegrain varieties where possible
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. The recommendation is 5 portions of different fruit and vegetables every day.
- Eat more fish. Try and get in 2 portions of fish every week. Omega-s fat which is good for us can be found in certain types of fish such as salmon, mackerel and fresh tuna – so add these to your diet.
- Reduce your intake of saturated fats and sugar. Saturated fat is found in many foods such as cakes, biscuits, cream, pies, hard cheese. Make sure you know what fat and how the food you eat contains and work on reducing the amount of saturated fat you consume.
- Eat les salt. Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure which can often lead to other significant health problems.
- Increase your level of activity and aim to achieve a “healthy” weight for yourself. Being overweight can seriously affect the quality of your health and life. As can being underweight. While eating a balanced diet plays a vital part in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight for yourself being active will help with burning up more calories. It has also been reported that exercise can offer other significant health and wellbeing benefits for people who regular participate in exercise.
- Keep hydrated. You need to drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day to prevent us from getting dehydrated.
- Eat breakfast. Research indicates that eating breakfast helps people control their weight. It’s a perfect way to include fruit into your daily intake.
In North London we are fortunate to have access to wonderful farmers markets that offer a wide array of produce. The Farmers Market in Alexandra Palace on the doorstep Muswell Hill and Wood Green is one such Market.
It attracts between 30 -50 producers every Sunday. Produce available includes fruit & vegetables from Kent, pressed fruit juices, fresh fish, organic bread, smoked meats, fish and lots more.
So, if this of interest to you why not get out on a Sunday and find some great local produce to include in your diet?