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How To Eat A Balanced Diet

15.07.2015

A balanced diet is essential for good health.  A balanced diet will help to ward off coughs and colds by boosting your immunity, provide you with the vitamins and nutrients you need to keep well and reduce the risk for more serious illnesses and diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.  

Eating a balanced diet will help you to manage your weight and become or remain within the healthy Body Mass Index range, this alone will help you to be healthier - check yours out here.

Lets not forget that food is our fuel therefore to feel physically and mentally energised we need to eat a balanced diet to help us to fuel up.  Avoid the afternoon slump by eating energy boosting snacks, avoid the high fat, high sugar processed foods and drinks such as colas, sweets, chocolate bars and crisps.  The energy they provide is short lived and you will want more in a short space of time and suffer from cravings. This is also unhelpful for your weight management too and can make it difficult to remain a healthy body weight.  

Don't forget about your brain energy - the tendency is to think of energy on a physical level.  Your brain uses around 20% of the calories your body requires on a daily basis to function fully.  

The Eatwell Plate (pictured) is a pictorial view of a healthy diet.  The largest portion on our plate is vegetables and fruits (not potatoes), followed very closely by wholegrains.  The protein portion of our plates should ideally be made up of low fat proteins such as fish and white meat, pulses, nuts and seeds.  Dairy is important for calcium and the smallest portion of food we consume on a daily basis should be processed foods.  In fact we don't include this within a healthy balanced diet, these foods should be consumed on occasions only.  

The guidelines for fruit and veg is 5-a-day.  However, this is a guideline only and there is much evidence to show that eating 7-a-day plus, has even greater health benefits.  Interestingly the majority of adults in the UK do not eat their 5-a-day, this may be something to aim for.  

What is a portion of fruit and veg?  That would be a handful; an apple, pear, a handful of berries or a handful of broccoli or green beans for example.  

How To Include More Fruit and Veg - that's easy, just include a piece of fruit for breakfast and for snacks during the day.  Make sure you have a couple of handfuls of salad as part of your lunch and include two to three handfuls of vegetables with your evening meal.  

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At The Healthy Employee we work with businesses who are invested in improving their employee health.  To find out about our healthy eating initiatives and we may be able to help you please call Anna - 07778 218009 or email anna@thehealthyemployee.co.uk



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