Blog Homepage > New Year’s Resolution: Healthy Eating in 2015
Healthy eating is an important part of feeling your best. A lot of people think of healthy eating as a difficult thing, but it doesn’t have to be! With the New Year now in full swing, we’re looking at easy ways to start healthy eating in 2015.
1. Healthy eating is all about starting small
Healthy eating is a lifestyle. If you start too big and cut out the ‘bad’ foods from your diet right from the off, it’ll seem like far too much of a chore. If you have biscuits with your lunch, cut down from three to two. If you’re against fruit and vegetables, start with one fruit or veg per day and build up: have peas with your dinner or a banana with your breakfast.
With regards to fruit and vegetables, the ‘five a day’ rule applies! Five a day is a lot if you’re starting from zero, but it’s not as tricky as it sounds: fruit smoothies are an easy way to fit several of your five in, or adding a banana and some strawberries into your breakfast cereal gets the numbers up.
2. Embrace breakfast
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and is key to healthy eating. Two slices of toast won’t count as a healthy breakfast! Wholemeal cereal, fruit or something like porridge is the perfect way to kick-start your healthy eating lifestyle.
3. Drink plenty of water
Experts recommend drinking approximatley 2 litres of water every day to keep hydrated. If you’re not a big fan of water, milk is also good and a great source of calcium for healthy bones. As important as healthy eating is, you need to be wary of what you’re drinking. Most fizzy drinks are full of added sugars, empty calories, and are bad for your teeth and skin.
Some fruit juices can also be very sugary, so always read the label.
4. Eat less salt
Even if you don’t add salt to your meals, there’s a chance you still might be eating too much. Much of the salt we eat is in the food we buy. Some of the big ones are cereal, soup, and bread. Sauces can also have a high salt count.
Healthy eating is all about making sure your body is the best it can be, so eating too much salt needs to be avoided as it can lead to high blood pressure—which in turn can lead to heart disease. Not good! Always read food labels to check for the amount of salt in it: 1.5g of salt per 100g is considered high.
5. Fish is the secret weapon to healthy eating
A lot of people will switch to chicken when they commit to healthy eating. Grilled chicken is a staple, but fish is where the magic lies. Fish is a good source of protein with lots of vitamins and minerals. Two portions a week is a great starting point to healthy eating. Oily fish like salmon and haddock are considered a super food and are particularly good at keeping your ‘ticker’ healthy.
6. Include starchy foods
Starchy foods are very important to healthy eating as they’re a great source of carbohydrates and nutrients. Starchy foods should make up around one third of your diet: potatoes, rice, bread and pasta are easy and tasty choices. The easiest way to keep up the one third rule is to have one starchy food with each of your three main meals. Where possible, choose wholegrain varieties for an even healthier option.
7. Eat less saturated fat and sugar
It’s easy to assume that all fat in your diet is bad, but that’s not actually true. We need a certain amount of fat for healthy eating. There are two types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fat is the bad stuff and leads to cholesterol.
Saturated fat is found in a lot of tasty food: cheese, cakes, cream, biscuits...all the things that we know aren’t good for us, but taste so good! Healthy eating is all about starting small. You don’t need to cut out all your favourite foods in one fell sweep, but you should decrease your intake to lower your cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.
Natural sugar is fine but saturated sugar is as bad as saturated fat and intake should be reduced. Again, it’s all not-so-nutritional but tasty stuff that’s full of sugar: cakes, pastries, soft drinks! If you’re wary, read the labels. Anything above 22.5g per 100g is considered high.
A lot of people don’t take healthy eating seriously but if you’re going to make the change, the New Year is a great time to do it! You can start off on a clean slate and begin making small changes in your diet that will last for the rest of your life.