We all know eating a well balanced diet is an important part of keeping in good health and can help you feel good but sometimes it can be difficult (no-one likes being told what to eat!).
Basically a healthy diet means eating a variety of food in the right amounts to keep you at a good body weight.
Ideally you should try and eat 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day and here at The Office Canteen we’re proud to offer freshly made food, and plenty of choice, to help you achieve this.
A third of your diet should be made up of starchy foods, wholegrain or wholemeal are best as they contain more fibre, vitamins & minerals than processed or white starchy foods.
TOP TIP! Amazingly keeping your white bread in the freezer before toasting it turns the sugary starch into resistant starch which is a good starch as it helps keep bowel cancer at bay.
Milk and dairy foods contain calcium (good for your bones), vitamin B12 and vitamin D (in fortified products) as well as being a good source of protein.
Yogurt is a good source of potassium which supports muscle, nerve and heart function.
It’s a good idea to use semi-skimmed or skimmed milk and low fat cheese and yoghurt options if you want to cut down on fats.
All cells and tissues contain protein, it is essential for growth and repair of the body. In fact, hair and nails are mostly made of protein.
Unlike carbohydrates and fat, your body does not store protein so you need to eat protein every day to keep your energy levels up.
Meat, milk, eggs, fish are all good sources of protein (and vitamins and minerals) but you don’t need to eat animal products to get your protein, it is also found in in beans, soy, nuts and some grains such as quinoa.
Oily fish is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits, they can; reduce risk factors for heart disease; improve bone and joint health; fight depression; improve eye health; promote brain growth during pregnancy and early life; AND it’s good for your skin.
It’s good to try and eat 2 portions of fish a week, including 1 portion of oily fish.
There’s strong evidence that fibre can help lower the risk of a stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. Eating your 5 a day will considerably help in your fibre intake.
Go for higher fibre breakfast cereals (like porridge or Weetabix).
Wholemeal foods are higher in fibre than processed so pick wholemeal or granary bread; add pulses (lentils, beans) to stews.
Nuts are high in fibre and make a good snack, but they do contain high levels of fat, so don’t eat too many of them. It’s useful to know that walnuts are also a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
The good news is just making little adjustments to your diet can have a big effect on your health and mental well-being, so start small and maybe up your fruit and veg intake or eat fish once a week, then build it up.
The most important thing to remember is not to beat yourself up if occasionally you have a binge. It happens, get over it, put your head together and get back into a healthy eating routine.