A Healthy Diet

Published: 11th March, 2013 in: Health Advice

Take Heart

Oily fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon contain omega 3 fatty acids which help prevent blood from clotting and therefore cut the risk of heart disease. To benefit, aim to eat two portions a week.

Choose Whole grain

Wholemeal or brown varieties of carbohydrates not only contain more fibre, but also more vitamins and minerals. So go for brown rice, wholemeal bread, pasta and cereals made with whole grains such as shredded wheat or porridge.

The type of fibre found in oats and beans can cut the amount of cholesterol in your blood.


Our bodies need protein from a healthy diet, for the nervous system to work properly. It also helps keep our hair and skin looking their best. Meat, fish, nuts and eggs are the main dietary sources of protein. Lack of protein in your diet can make you feel tired and run down. It's important however, to make sure we opt for low-fat protein wherever possible. This means reducing your intake of red meat and increasing the amount of fish, skinless chicken and turkey you eat. If you are vegetarian, you must make sure you get adequate protein from other sources such as beans, nuts and soya products.

Fruit and Vegetables

Although fruit and vegetables are great sources of health-protecting vitamins and minerals, most of us don't eat enough of them. We should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day.

But I Don't Like Fruit and Veg!

Think again! These days the range of fruit and vegetables available from the supermarket is huge. Choose from everyday varieties to the more exotic – there's bound to be something there you'll enjoy.

Getting The Most From Your Veggie

Don't overcook vegetables or you'll lose most of the vitamins and a lot of the taste! Use only a small amount of water or even better steam them using an electric steamer or one that can be put over a pan of boiling water. Alternatively microwave them on a high setting for a short time, again using only a little water.

Did You Know?

Frozen fruit and vegetables often contain more vitamins than fres.

This is because they're frozen on the day they're picked, while fresh produce can take as much as two weeks to reach our supermarket shelves. After picking, the amount of vitamins will decrease each day. So stock-up your freezer.

Smoothies and soups

The cheat's guide to eating more fruit and veg.

If the thought of physically trying to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day fills you with horror, then don't despair, there are easier ways to do it.

Try starting the day with a smoothie. Using either a hand blender or liquidizer, mix a number of soft fruits together with half-fat milk. Try a banana, a handful of strawberries and a tin of pineapple chunks. That's three portions of fruit in one go and it tastes great! Similarly, you can either make or buy soup that has a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, peas, onions and swede. Again, this means you get several of your daily vegetable quota in one easy meal.

Is All Fat Bad For You?

No, fat is an essential part of our diet. However, we all eat far more fat than our bodies need. Eating too much fat is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and being overweight. But not all fats are bad - it's eating too much of the wrong type that's harmful.