risks of a poor diet and being overweight
Being healthy is also about what you eat - choosing
the right food. It is important to enjoy the food
you eat - and eating in a healthier way may even
There is a direct relationship between your level
of physical activity and how much energy you use
up from the food you eat. If you eat more than you
use the surplus energy is stored as body fat; this
means you will become overweight which in itself
increases your risk of disease and disability.
The risks to you: Coronary Heart Disease, high blood
pressure, non-insulin dependent diabetes, constipation,
joint pain, being out of breath. Your risks multiply
if you eat too much animal fat, smoke, drink alcohol
and take very little exercise
The risks to your family: Coronary Heart Disease,
development of bad eating habits, poor life expectancy
But leading a Healthy Lifestyle isn't only about
being the right weight for your height.
Understanding the ingredients that make up your
Fish and Pulses
Eating too much animal fat is a main cause of ill-health.
Our bodies need very little but most of us eat too
much. You may have heard of saturated fats. These
are found mainly in the meat of cows, pigs and sheep
and in products which include their meat and fat,
such as sausages, meat pies and beef burgers. Eating
too much Saturated Fat can lead to Coronary Heart
Disease and being overweight.
Unsaturated fats, however, are found in oily fish,
chicken, eggs, turkey, duck, beans and lentils and
foods made from these. Unsaturated fat may be better
for you, but eating too much fat of any type can
increase your weight. It is better to buy a small
amount of lean meat rather than fatty meat or solid
It is even better to eat more fish of all kinds.
And don't forget to increase your ironintake by
eating liver. Traditional meals using beans and
pulses provide good nourishment; remember to cut
down on any animal fat used in cooking, e.g. in
soups do not add fat and do not fry food.
If you use any fat or oil in cooking use less. Steaming,
boiling and grilling without extra fat or oil helps
to cut down your total intake of fat. Reduce the
amount of fat in all your recipes. Eat bread without
spreading butter on it. Try to cut down on sugar
as it causes dental decay and increases your weight
and it doesn't give you any nutrients. For everyone:
where fat is involved, less is best.
and Dairy Produce
Milk, cheese and yoghurt are good sources of protein,
vitamins and minerals, but they are also high in
animal fat. To achieve a Healthy Lifestyle it is
important to eat some milk and dairy produce. If
semi-skimmed or skimmed milk is available this is
better for adults as it contains less fat.
And, of course, the best milk for babies and young
toddlers is breast milk which contains everything
they need for up to six months of age for their
healthy start in life and can be continued for up
to two years.
Potatoes, Bread, Rice and Cereals
These starchy foods are not fattening unless you
cook or serve them with fat. In fact these foods
give you energy for all the activities of your daily
In addition they are a good source of protein, vitamins
and minerals as well as starch. They should definitely
form the main part of most meals, and preferably,
every meal. If possible eat whole grain varieties
of cereals since these are high in fibre. The additional
benefit is that fibre can help to prevent constipation
and other bowel disorders.
Remember potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin
C (especially if you do not peel them) and therefore
can help to prevent anaemia if eaten along with
iron containing foods. So eat more potatoes, bread,
cereal and rice everyday.
Vegetables are the main source of minerals and vitamins
in our diet. Many of us do not eat enough of either.
Some vegetables traditionally grown in your areas
may be available all the year round.
Try to eat what is in season and add beans and lentils
which are excellent sources of minerals. Eat more
iron-containing food such as green vegetables. Locally
produced vegetables are usually the cheapest and
the most full of flavour and nutrients because they
are fresh. Even better is growing your own vegetables
and using them directly from the garden.
Fruit is also a good source of minerals and vitamins.
Try to eat seasonal fruit and preserve as many of
the wild or garden fruits as you can by freezing,
canning or drying them. Eat at least five portions
of frruit and vegetables each day.