We all know that a balanced diet and regular exercise are the key to a healthier lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be complicated - often simple, small changes to your daily routine can bring rewards. Here are a few simple diet ideas to keep you moving in the right direction.
It can be the smallest changes to our diets that give the best results. Simply adding a healthy breakfast every day, not skipping meals, taking time out to have your lunch, chewing your food properly and really enjoying what you eat, can all have a positive impact on your health. Having a goal is a great idea; make it realistic and achievable. Instead of making drastic changes (unless your health requires you too) there are many simple steps you can take to achieve a healthier you.
Eating a balanced diet that has a great mix of fruit and vegetables can be obtained with just a little planning. Making sure that you have fruit in the bowl and vegetables in your fridge or freezer will help you make healthier choices through the week. A 250ml glass of Del Monte Naturally Light pineapple and lime juice for breakfast contains only 63 calories and 100% RDA of your vitamin C and one of your five a day. A delicious bowl of vegetable soup for lunch or adding a fresh green side salad alongside your sandwich will also add another portion. Try snacking on a handful of blueberries, they can help to keep our brain healthy and are also rich in antioxidants. Vegetable crudités, such as carrot sticks and cucumber dipped in a little humus make a filling snack. Dinner is a great time to add vegetables into your day by serving 2 different types, such as shredded steamed cabbage with frozen garden peas or try disguising vegetables at meal times in bolognese, curry or casserole. I find diced carrots and swede work really well. Without too much effort you can achieve 5 a day.
Sugar is hidden in many different foods and often we consume food products that we think are healthier options but are actually laden with hidden sugar, such as ready meals. Reducing sugar in our diets could help you reach your health goals. Be realistic in your approach to chocolate and treats, it is all about balance, you don’t need it everyday. If you feel you have too much sugar, try swapping the sugary snack for something else satisfying, like a chopped apple with some almonds or a small bowl of berries. Berries are generally considered to have a lower glycemic index, especially strawberries, therefore they have a lesser impact on the body’s blood sugar levels. We have some great snack alternatives on our snack attack page.
Keeping a check on portion size can also aid a healthier way of eating. The trend of eating super size portions and ‘all you can eat’ restaurants have become a big contributor to eating more calories than our bodies require. A good starting point is not to overfill your plate and if you have young children then serve their food on a smaller plate. Fill up on your vegetables and as a guide line have a serving of chicken the size of a pack of cards and a jacket potato roughly the size of your fist. For more information please refer to www.nhs.uk/livewell.
There are many reasons why our bodies need to stay hydrated; to deliver nutrients and oxygen around our bodies and to keep our digestive system in working order, are just a couple. So what to drink? There are many alternatives to water such as, squash, different teas and juice, especially Del Monte Naturally Light as it has 50% less sugar. Water is free and has no calories therefore is a great choice. Perhaps trying a different tea such as peppermint, which is super for the digestive system, or green tea or a combination of camomile and spearmint.