The secret to a balanced diet is to ingest the proper number of calories for your level of activity, balancing the amount of energy you take in with the amount you expend. You will gain weight if you consume more food or liquid than your body requires since the extra energy is stored as fat. You will lose weight if you consume too little food and liquids.
To ensure that you are eating a balanced diet and that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs, you should consume a variety of foods. Men should consume about 2,500 calories every day (10,500 kilojoules). Women need about 2,000 calories every day (8,400 kilojoules).
Here are 8 tips for a good diet:
1. Base your diet on higher fibre starchy carbohydrates
Just a little bit more than one-third of your diet should consist of starchy carbs. Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, and cereals are among them. Select products with more fibre or wholegrain content, including wholewheat pasta, brown rice, or potatoes that still have their skins on. Compared to white or refined starchy carbs, they have more fiber and might make you feel fuller for longer.
With each big meal, try to incorporate at least 1 starchy food. Although some individuals believe that starchy meals make you fat, they actually contain less calories per gram of carbohydrate than fat. Watch the fats you add while preparing or serving these kinds of meals because they are what raises the calorie count, such as oil on chips, butter on toast, and creamy sauces on pasta.
2. Eat lots of fruit and veg in your diet
You should consume at least 5 servings of different fruits and vegetables each day, according to recommendations. They can be juiced, dried, tinned, frozen, or fresh. Getting your recommended five a day is simpler than it seems. Why not add some chopped banana to your morning porridge or replace your go-to mid-morning treat with some fresh fruit? Fresh, canned, or frozen fruit and vegetables are each 80g in size. A serving of dried fruit is 30g, which should only be consumed with meals. A 150 ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice, or smoothie counts as 1 serving as well, however you should only eat 1 glass of these sweet beverages per day to prevent tooth decay.
3. Add more fish to your diet
In addition to having a lot of vitamins and minerals, fish is a wonderful source of protein. Try to consume at least two meals of fish every week, at least one of which should be oily. Omega-3 fats, which are abundant in oily fish, may aid in the prevention of heart disease. Salmon, Trout, Herring, Sardines, Mackerel, etc. are a few examples. Fish like haddock, plaice, coley, cod, tuna, skate, and hake are examples of non-oily fish. You have the option of fresh, frozen, or canned fish, but keep in mind that canned and smoked fish may include a lot of salt. The majority of individuals ought to consume more fish, however some varieties have suggested intake restrictions.
4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
You need some fat in your diet, but you need to watch how much and what kind of fat you consume. Saturated and unsaturated fats are the 2 primary kinds. Overconsumption of saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol levels, which raises your risk of heart disease. Men should consume no more than 30g of saturated fat per day on average. Women should consume no more than 20g of saturated fat per day on average. Although children under the age of five should not have a low-fat diet, children under the age of 11 should consume less saturated fat than adults.
Consuming sugary meals and beverages on a regular basis raises your chances of obesity and tooth damage. Sugary foods and beverages frequently contain significant amounts of energy (measured in calories or kilojoules), which, if taken too frequently, can lead to weight gain. Furthermore, especially if consumed between meals, they might result in tooth decay. Free sugars are all sugars that are either naturally occurring in honey, syrups, unsweetened fruit juices, and smoothies or added to meals or beverages. You should limit this kind of sugar rather than the sugar included in fruit and milk. Surprisingly large levels of free sugars are present in many packaged meals and beverages. A food is considered high in sugar if it contains more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g, whereas 5g of total sugars per 100g is considered low in sugar.
5. Eat less salt
Your blood pressure might increase if you consume too much salt. Heart disease and stroke are more likely to occur in those with high blood pressure. You can be eating too much even if you don’t salt your food. When you purchase foods like morning cereals, soups, breads, and sauces, around three-quarters of the salt you consume is already there. To save money, use the labels on your food. A food is rich in salt if it contains more than 1.5g of salt per 100g. No more than 6g (or roughly a teaspoonful) of salt should be consumed daily by adults and children aged 11 and older. Even less should be given to younger kids.
6. Get active and be a healthy weight
Regular exercise, together with a healthy diet, may help lower your chance of developing major medical disorders. Additionally, it’s crucial for your general health and wellbeing. Obesity and excess weight can contribute to diseases including type 2 diabetes, certain malignancies, heart disease, and stroke. Your health might also be impacted by being underweight. Aim to eat less and be more active if you want to lose weight. You can keep your weight in check by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Utilize the BMI healthy weight calculator to determine your weight.
7. Do not get thirsty
To prevent dehydration, you must consume a lot of water. The government advises consuming 6 to 8 glasses daily. You also obtain fluid from the food you eat in addition to this. All non-alcoholic beverages are acceptable, but the healthiest options include water, milk with less fat, and beverages with less sugar, including tea and coffee. Drinks with added sugar should be avoided since they are rich in calories. Additionally, they harm your teeth. Smoothies and unsweetened fruit juices are both high in free sugar. A modest glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice, and smoothies shouldn’t make up more than 150ml of your total daily fluid intake. When it’s hot outside or you’re exercising, don’t forget to drink more water.
8. Do not skip breakfast
Some people believe skipping breakfast may aid in their weight loss. However, a balanced diet that includes a nutritious breakfast that is high in fiber and low in fat, sugar, and salt will help you obtain the nutrients you need for optimum health. A pleasant and healthy meal is a bowl of whole grain, reduced sugar cereal with semi-skimmed milk and fruit slices on top.