With summer well under way, it’s the perfect chance to kick-start a healthy lifestyle with a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. Here are some top tips on how to do it:
Eat your greens
A third of the food you eat should be fruit and vegetables. They are an important source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. “Five a day” is the rule of thumb we most often hear – a portion is considered roughly 80g of fruit or vegetables. A single banana would count as one portion, as would three spoonfuls of peas, or two tangerines.
As a rough guide, a portion of protein should be the size of your palm. Or, for a more technical guide, adults need 0.75g of protein for every kilo they weigh per day.
Watch the salt
Too much salt raises our blood pressure, which increases our risks of stroke and heart disease. Adults should aim to have no more than 6g a day.
Trim the fat
Having too much saturated fat in your diet (found in dairy, red meat and processed foods) can clog up your arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.
Skip the sugar
Sugar increases the risk of diabetes and obesity. Read labels carefully as sugar hides under many names, including glucose, fructose, lactose, dextrose and maltose amongst others. Of course, natural sugars occur in fruit so it’s not practical to avoid sugar altogether – remember, moderation is key!
Try and eat a minimum of two portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily fish to provide you with essential Omega-3 fatty acids.
While the assumption is that carbs are bad for you, it’s worth remembering they’re not all made equal! Opt for whole grain variations as they keep you fuller for longer – brown rice and quinoa are great options.