1. You need your 5 a day!
It is highly recommended to consume 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day, whether they are served raw, cooked, plain, prepared, fresh, frozen or canned. These 5 boosts of natural goodness allow your body to absorb all the vitamins, minerals and fibre it requires with the added bonus of being low in calories.
An example of a typical ‘5 a day’ menu would include:
- A glass of grapefruit juice (with no added sugar) in the morning
- Accompanying your lunch with a handful of grated carrots and green beans
- An apple in the afternoon
- Vegetable soup for dinner
2. Carbs are good for you
Cereal products (bread, rice, pasta), potatoes and pulses (lentils, beans, chickpeas etc), provide complex carbohydrates, the main energy source of the body. It is recommended to choose wholegrain products over refined ones. You can stagger smaller portions of starch along the day and include small amounts in each meal.
A typical example would include:
- Two slices of bread with cereals for breakfast
- A pasta side dish for lunch
- Two cookies at snack time
- A small plate of lentil soup for dinner
3. Consume 3 dairy products every day
Dairy products are our main source of calcium and are essential for the construction and maintenance of bones. Typical dairy products include milk, yoghurt and cottage cheese. Butter and cream on the other hand should be avoided due to their high fat content.
Daily portions could include:
- A bowl of cereal with milk for breakfast
- A piece of cheese during lunch
- A vanilla yoghurt after dinner
4. Eat meat, fish or eggs once to twice a day
All of the above food items represent rich sources of high quality protein, which in turn maintains a healthy muscle mass. They are also sources of various minerals and vitamins.
Meals that include protein could include:
- Chicken for lunch
- Smoked salmon for dinner
5. Limit your fat, sugar and salt intake
Fats, sugar and salt are essential for our body to function properly, however when consumed in excess these can be detrimental to our health.
Sweet, salty or fatty food (pastries, cakes or sweets, chocolate, puddings, ice cream etc) should not be excluded entirely from our diet, but should be consumed in moderation. Also, do not add excessive salt to your meals or whilst cooking.
6. Keep hydrated!
Our body needs and consumes water through sweating and breathing. We recommend drinking at least 1.5 litres a day during or between meals. Other drinks and soups should also be included to this amount.
7. Be active
Physical activity is essential for us to strike a good balance between energy expenditure and the caloric intake of food. In order to maintain this balance, we recommend a 30 minute brisk walk each day. Other alternatives to this include:
- 45 minutes bowling or playing billiards
- 30 minutes of aerobics or cycling
- 20 minutes playing tennis, jogging or jumping a rope
It is advised that children should spend at least 60 minutes being active every day.