A balanced diet is essential for your general wellbeing.
Food should be an enjoyable part of your day, even when you are eating a healthier diet.
Kate Arthur, the Head of Nutrition at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, has shared her daily tips to help you easily incorporate a balanced diet into your life.
Add in a few good things
Instead of immediately cutting back on “treats”, try to start by adding a few healthy foods into your diet.
“For many of us, our default is to cut back on things we consider to be bad, such as chocolate or crisps,” Kate explains. “However, thinking about what you can add to your diet – and not what you need to take away – can be a more positive change. For example, add vegetables to sandwiches or add fruit to yoghurt and cereal.”
A positive attitude is key when you are trying to improve your eating habits.
“It’s easy to say that you won’t allow yourself unhealthy foods but that will put you in a deprivation mindset which means you’re likely to crave the very foods that you are not allowing yourself,” Kate states. “If you can think about what healthy additions you can make to your diet, most people find they then naturally eat more healthily and can have those less healthy foods in moderation.”
Batch cooking makes it easier to stick to eating healthier meals if they are already planned and cooked and it is also a great way to ensure you plan your meals more mindfully.
“Try more batch cooking, cook up your favourite dish but simply increase the amount – three to four times more than you would normally cook and then freeze this in individual portions,” the expert says.
Eating a healthy diet does not mean you have to cut out snacks! They are a great way to keep your energy up and fend off hunger between meals.
“Try snacks that contain protein that may keep you fuller for longer… such as a small handful of unsalted nuts, some natural yoghurt with fruit, or a couple of wholegrain oatcakes with low-fat cream cheese,” Kate suggests.
Wholegrain foods are a great way to include fibre, which is great for your digestive system, in your diet.
“Wholegrain foods such as bread, brown rice and wholemeal pasta are a source of fibre, so choose them over white varieties to keep your digestive system healthy,” says the nutrition expert. “Other wholegrains like oats also provide soluble fibre that can help lower cholesterol levels.”