Staying healthy requires a good mix of exercise and eating well.
A varied and balanced diet is not just about keeping fit and well though. It also makes mealtimes more enjoyable, introduces you to different foods and flavours and for some people, helps to manage a health condition and reduce the risks of health issues such as:
How to eat healthily in Solihull
Diets high in salt, sugar and fat can increase your risk of developing conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Taking simple steps to eat more healthily can reduce your risk:
- Get your 5 a day (fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables all count)
- base your meals around starchy foods
- high fibre versions are healthiest such as wholemeal bread or pasta
- proteins such as meat, fish, eggs, beans and pulses form part of a balanced diet
- low fat options are best
- eat fish twice a week
- ideally at least 1 portion of oily fish like mackerel, fresh tuna (not canned) or salmon
- increase your unsaturated fats
- vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados
- cut down on salt
- more than 1.5 grams of salt per 100 grams of serving or portion per person is high in salt
- adults and children over 11 years old should eat no more 6 grams of salt each day
- children under 11 years old should eat less than 6 grams of salt each day
- cut down on saturated fats
- sausages, pies, cakes, hard cheese and biscuits
- cut down on sugar
- sugared cereals, cakes, fizzy drinks, biscuits and what you add to your tea or coffee
- have dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurts in moderation
- low fat options are best
Here are some initiatives that are on offer in Solihull. You can call Solihull Connect on 0121 704 6000 for more information, including advice about:
- Solihull Active’s Eat Well Move More programme
The NHS is also a good resource for anyone wanting to improve their diet, not just those managing a health condition.
Eating well with a health condition
If you have a diagnosed health condition, you may need to maintain some sort of controlled diet. However, this does not mean that you cannot enjoy your food.
The NHS website and a number of other organisations have got an excellent range of advice, tips, information, features and ideas for you.
Take a look at the following information if you need to know about healthy eating advice tailored for:
- mental health including depression
- Mental Health Foundation Diet and mental health
- Mind’s guide and information about foods and moods
- Rethink’s eating well guide
- heart disease
- older people
- young people
Healthy eating with the NHS
With an entire section dedicated to healthy eating on the NHS website, there is an excellent NHS Healthy eating self-assessment which everyone can use.
The NHS also offers a range of tools and extensive advice on any area of food and eating you could possibly hope to savour.
The Change4Life website has a whole area dedicated to healthy eating. With information for adults, children and families, its Eat Well section can help you make positive decisions with the likes of:
- Start 4 Life - a free information service for parents
It also has a great range of healthy eating tips and sensible advice you can take to simply but significantly improve your diet:
- For example, you can discover the difference between:
- unsaturated (good) fat
- saturated (bad) fat
- You can also watch how much salt you are eating, including learning about some rather surprising salt hiding places in everyday foods
An excellent selection of cooking and meal ideas is also available. With a Meal Mixer and Smart Recipe Finder, you can discover delectable delights such as:
Highlighting each different food type that we have in our diets and the amounts we should be trying to eat most of the time, it is a clear and concise way to flatter your platter.
There are also some excellent features which are regularly updated, such as:
- Superfoods - examining the evidence for so-called superfoods, such as beetroot, blueberries, garlic, oily fish and many more
- Food safety - looking at the safe storage, preparation and cooking of foods at home
- Vegetarian and vegan diets - helping those on meat-free diets create healthy, happy and balanced meals with all the right nutrients and other good stuff
Top tips for healthy eating
It is likely that everyone has their own particular tip(s) for healthy eating: from eating from smaller plates to help with portion control to ensuring food packaging labels are read.
It is always good to learn about other tips though (and, after all, we all love a list from time to time). Here is a selection of some great healthy eating tips available at the moment:
How are you?
To find out how well you are and get some recommendations on how to improve your health, take the How Are You quiz.