Don’t skip breakfast
Research tells us that people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. If we do not eat breakfast our metabolic rate (the rate in which our bodies burn calories) slows down, hence we hold onto more calories. Therefore, eating breakfast not only helps to keep us healthy, it is an important part of a diet if you are trying to lose weight.
Eat more fish
A healthy diet should include at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily. Fish is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. Oily fish such as salmon and fresh tuna is particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids which are good for maintaining a healthy heart.
Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
Too much saturated fat in our diets can lead to raised cholesterol which increases the risk of heart disease. It also can result in high blood pressure as well as other health problems such as type 2 diabetes. Tips for reducing your saturated fat intake are;
- Compare nutritional labels before purchasing food.
- Grill, bake, poach or steam food rather than frying or roasting, so that you won’t need to add any extra fat.
- Trim visible fat and take skin off meat before cooking. Use the grill instead of the frying pan, whatever meat you are cooking
Most adults in the UK comsume too much sugar. Sugars occur naturally in foods such as fruit and milk, but we don’t need to cut down on these types of sugars. Many foods that contain added sugars also contain lots of calories, so eating these foods contribute to becoming overweight. Some tips to help reduce your sugar intake are:
- Choose wholegrain breakfast cereals
- Swap fizzy, sugary drinks for water
- If you put sugar in hot drinks or on cereal try to reduce gradually
- Check nutritional labels before buying food and drink
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are essential for a healthy and balanced diet. They are usually (if cooked correctly) low in fat therefore will help you to maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy.
Drink plenty of water
Water is your body’s most important nutrient. It is involved in every bodily function and makes up 70- 75% of your total body weight. Water helps you to maintain body temperature, metabolize body fat, aids in digestion, lubricates and cushions organs, transports nutrients, and flushes toxins from your body. Everyone should drink at least 2 litres a day, and if you exercise or are overweight, even more. Your blood is approximately 90% water and is responsible for transporting nutrients and energy to muscles and for taking waste from tissues.
Some of the benefits of drinking an appropriate amount of water a day are:
- Weight loss
- Improves your skin
- Improves concentration
- Improves your performance during exercise
- Helps digestion
- Fights infection
The effects and symptoms of dehydration include:
- Muscle cramps
- Dry skin
- Lack of concentration
- Irregular blood pressure
Try to eat less salt
Too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at increased risk of health problems such as heart disease and strokes. Adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day. Make sure that you compare nutrition labels on products before buying: everyday foods such as bread, breakfast cereals and ready meals can contain high levels of added salt.