Monday, October 31, 2016

A Balanced Diet And Healthy Eating Tips.

We are always being told that we should eat a balanced diet, but what does this actually mean and how can we achieve it?

A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly.

This article will help you understand 
  • The three main parts of a healthy diet (protein, carbohydrates and fats) and where to find them
  • Identify the differences between simple and complex carbohydrates
  • State the important reasons for having vitamins and minerals in the diet and identify some of the main sources.
The easiest way of understanding a balanced diet is to split up the food into four parts. 

1. Proteins: Protein is what which builds and repairs our bodiesFoods such as meat, fish, dairy products, beans and pulses, seeds and nuts are all excellent sources of protein
2. Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are found in a number of foods and give us food calories which we turn into energy
Foods such as pasta, rice, potatoes and bread are all excellent sources of carbohydrates and have very little fat.
There are two types of carbohydrates: 
  • simple carbohydrates (they contain no nutrients) 
  • complex carbohydrates. (slowly release energy plus a source of certain vitamins and minerals) 
3. Fats: Foods such as meat, dairy products, olive oil and  sunflower oil are all sources of fat.
There are good and bad fats:
  • Good fats are unsaturated, for example, olive oil, sunflower oil and other vegetable oils
  • Bad fats are saturated and are found in food which comes from animals, like meat and dairy products.

Hydrogenated or Trans fats: These are made in factories by pumping hydrogen gas under pressure through vegetable fats, and are used by manufacturers to keep the fat solid. These are not good for health and can cause heart problems. 

A lot of fat
Do you put a lot of butter on sandwiches, toast, potatoes and other foods? Butter is very high in fat.

Difference between Margarine and Butter:
They are more or less the same  the difference is Margarine generally contains unsaturated fat, while butter contains saturated fat.

4. Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins are small quantities of nutrients found in food, which help our bodies to work properly.
Vegetables such as carrots, peas and green beans, and  fruits such as apples, oranges and mangoes are all  excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins usually have letters for names, for example, A, B, C, D, E. Sometimes they also have 
numbers, like B12.

What are calories: The number of calories in a food is a measurement of the amount of energy stored in that food. Your body uses calories from food for walking, thinking, breathing, and other important functions. The average person needs to eat about 2,000 calories every day to maintain their weight.

Fiber: One final element of food is fiber, which helps to keep your bowels regular. We have all heard of wholemeal bread. Well, wholemeal means nothing is taken out of the bread or the flour so all the fiber remains. Wholemeal pasta and brown rice are the same - nothing is taken out. So always try to buy food which says it is wholemeal. Vegetables and fruit also have fiber, so they will also protect your body and keep it regular.

Tips for Eating Healthy: 
1. Do you eat biscuits (high fat) such as chocolate biscuits as a pudding? Try low fat yoghurts instead.
2. When you have a sandwich, have some vegetables with it or after it, like carrot, celery or even fruit instead of crisps and other snacks. You'll feel fuller and better for it.
3. Vitamin and mineral supplements are OK. However, you should really try to get all your vitamins and minerals from eating a balanced and varied diet.
4. 6 grams of salt a day is the limit anyone should eat, and we get most of these 6 grams from just eating normal food without putting any salt on it at all.
5. Drink plenty of water, six to eight glasses are the recommended amount. Add a fresh squeeze of lemon if you want a bit of flavor.
6. The best and healthiest way to lose weight is to take more exercise. You'll use more food calories from doing exercise.
7. Always eat fruits. You can add fruit to most meals. It's easy to add fruit to any salad or add fruit to yoghurt or breakfast cereals. Try chopping fruit up in curries or other dishes with sauces.
8. If you can, try and get green vegetables into your diet. They are good for you because they contain iron and vitamin C.
9. All peppers (red, green and yellow) are great for your health. You can snack on them just like tomatoes, carrots etc. Red peppers, however, are usually sweeter than the others and they contain the most vitamin C.
10 Regarding meat If you generally buy packet or processed food then try the butcher's meat. You'll find it's often cheaper and healthier.
11. Eat more fish. Fish contains protein and nutrients similar to meat without the saturated fat. So it's a really good food.
12. Choose wholemeal or wholegrain bread so you'll get all the goodness, taste, fiber and nutrients of the wheat. Hence you get more for the same money.
13. Eating a wide range of food including fruit and vegetables will make sure you get all the nutrients you need from your diet and it will stop you getting bored!

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