Eating a healthy diet has many benefits. It can help you manage your weight, keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of some diseases. It can also make you feel more energised and improve your mood. But with so much conflicting advice out there, it can be hard to know where to start.
The key to healthy eating is to focus on your overall dietary pattern rather than individual foods or nutrients. Try to replace processed foods with fresh ones, and aim to eat more plant-based foods, while limiting salt, sugar and unhealthy fats.
Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages to meet your needs while staying within the recommended calorie levels for your age, sex, height and weight. Eating a healthy dietary pattern can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of chronic disease and maintain a positive mood.
EAT PLENTY OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Try to eat a wide variety of colourful fruits and vegetables at every meal. This will give you a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat fruit and vegetables that are cooked or raw, rather than canned or frozen.
EAT WHOLE GRAINS MORE OFTEN
Switch white rice, pasta and bread for brown rice, whole wheat or rye bread and couscous. Try adding quinoa or barley to your meals as well. Whole grains are a good source of fibre and vitamin B9.
EAT SMALL AMOUNTS OF HIGH-FAT FOODS
Limit foods high in saturated fats (e.g., red meat), trans fats and added sugars. Choose lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry, and eat beans, lentils, nuts and seeds for protein.
EAT FISH AT LEAST TWICE A WEEK
Trout, salmon, tuna and sardines are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
ADD MORE LEGUMES LIKE BEANS AND CHICKPEAS TO YOUR MEALS
Legumes can be used to replace meat in your meals and are high in protein. Try adding them to soups, salads or casseroles.
CHOOSE FRUIT AND 100% VEGAN JUICE MORE OFTEN
Replace sugary sodas and juices with water, fruit and 100% vegetable/fruit juices. Added sugars contribute to tooth decay and should be limited.
EAT LESS SALT AND SUGAR
Too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Most of the sodium we eat is found in packaged foods and fast food. Try to avoid these foods, and opt for lower-sodium options such as homemade or dried vegetables, unprocessed fruits and unsalted nuts.