A Healthy Diet For a Healthy Body

A healthy diet provides your body with the nutrients it needs to function well and stay strong. It should be low in saturated fat, salt and sugar, but high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. It includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean meat, as well as dairy products and alternatives for those who are intolerant to milk. It should also contain sufficient fluids to keep you hydrated.

A balanced diet is important for all ages, as it helps control blood pressure and cholesterol levels and promotes weight loss if needed. It can also help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases. You should aim to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables each day, and choose the most colourful varieties. Try to eat locally produced vegetables and fruits as they are often fresher and have more nutrients than those that have been shipped from further afield.

Vegetables and fruits are good sources of fibre, which can help maintain bowel health, lower cholesterol levels and aid in a healthy weight. They also provide many important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and magnesium. Choose brightly coloured vegetables and fruits, as they tend to be higher in antioxidants, which can have protective effects.

Lean meat is a good source of protein, as well as zinc, iron and B vitamins. It is important to choose lean cuts of meat and poultry, and to avoid fatty processed foods like bacon, sausages and ham. You should also limit your intake of red meat, and instead eat more fish and other plant-based proteins like tofu and beans.

Dairy products are a good source of protein and calcium, which is important for bone health. Try to choose skimmed or 1% fat milk, low fat yoghurt and reduced-fat cheeses, and limit full-fat dairy products like cheese and ice cream. You should also drink unsweetened, calcium-fortified milk, oat milk or soya drinks.

It is also a good idea to include some nuts and seeds in your diet, as they are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. Try to limit nut and seed consumption to three tablespoons per day and choose unsalted options, as they can be high in salt.

You should also aim to eat two portions of fish a week, including oily fish, as these are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Eating healthily doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require some effort and planning. You can start by cutting back on unhealthy foods like ice cream, cakes and fizzy drinks. Then, focus on adding healthy foods to your diet such as vegetables and fruit, whole grains, lean meats, eggs and low-fat dairy. Try to eat out less and cook more at home, which will allow you to control the amount of salt and added sugars in your meals.