Eating tips

Eating enough fruit and vegetables

Top tips on eating enough fruit and vegetables

  • For most people, eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is achievable - it’s just about getting into the habit!
  • Include some fruit and vegetables in every meal
  • Fresh fruit and raw vegetable sticks make great portable snacks – try keeping some nearby to snack on throughout the day
  • Add some fresh or dried fruit pieces to your breakfast cereal
  • Throw some frozen vegetables into curries, stews or on top of pizzas
  • Drink a fruit juice instead of a coffee when you’re out with friends

And remember

To get the most nutrition out of your fresh fruit and vegetables don’t store them for long periods. Once you have chopped them up you can cover and refrigerate for eating later.

Eating enough dairy

Top tips on eating more diary into your diet:

  • Add milk to breakfast cereal
  • Pour some yoghurt over breakfast cereal, or eat a pot of it after lunch
  • Use low-fat cheese in salad sandwiches
  • Have a glass of low-fat milk with your evening meal
  • Try yoghurt with fruit for dessert

And remember

Choose low fat varieties of dairy products whenever possible.

Eating enough protein

Top tips on eating enough proteins:

  • Choose leam cuts of unprocessed meats more often than processed meats like sausages, battered/breaded chicken
  • Include two portions of fish in your diet each week
  • Peas, beans and lentils are great low fat sources of protein to include in your diet
  • Replace some meat in your dishes with beans or lentils
  • Trim any visible fat from meat

And remember

Choose cooking methods that require the addition of no or just a little fat.

Cutting down on fats

Tips for cutting down on fat in the diet:

  • Choose lean cuts of meat and trim off any visible fat before cooking
  • Grill, bake, steam and microwave foods rather than fry or roast them
  • Choose low-fat dairy products (milk, yoghurt and cheese) where possible, or use stronger tasting cheeses so that less can be used to get the same taste
  • Switch to low-fat polyunsaturated or monounsaturated spreads rather than margarine or butter
  • Compare labels on ready meals and other packaged foods so that you can pick those with less total or saturated fat in them
  • Go for tomato-based sauces instead of cream or cheese-based sauces,
  • Instead of using cream in recipes, try natural yoghurt or fromage frais
  • Snack on fruit and vegetables between meals. They are naturally low in fat and may distract you from snacking on higher fat foods

Cutting down on sugar

Tips for cutting down on sugar in the diet:

  • If you add sugar to your tea, coffee or breakfast cereal, gradually reduce the amount you add until it’s little or none
  • Go for fruit tinned in its own juice instead of fruit tinned in syrup
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in your baking recipes
  • If you eat sugary breakfast cereals, mix some wholegrain flakes into the bowl, and try to eventually switch to wholegrain cereals
  • Read the labels on packaged foods and go for the low-sugar options
  • Give up fizzy drinks! Water is the best thirst quencher – if you want a fizzy drink try unsweetened fruit juice diluted with sparkling water instead
  • Use fruit instead of syrup or jam. Try bananas sliced on toast or tinned peach slices over ice-cream
  • Reduce your portions of sweet foods. If you feel like biscuits, have just one or two and no more. Buy chocolate in treat-size bars. Once your supplies for the week or fortnight run out, don’t buy any more until you had next planned to

Food swap

To reach your healthy weight, you will need to eat less food that is high in calories and fat. At the same time, you still need to enjoy your food and get all the nutrients you need. Below is a list of everyday foods where you can make a ‘food swap’ to help reach your healthy weight.

You won’t have to compromise much on taste but the benefits are plenty. These swaps may bring other health benefits too, like bringing down your cholesterol levels.

Change from: To:
Full-fat milk and yoghurt Low-fat/diet milk or yoghurt
Full-fat/creamy cheeses Low-fat cheddar or lower fat varieties of cheese like Emmental, Gouda, Edam or cottage cheese
Confectionary Seeds
Butter Low-fat, polyunsaturated spread/td>
Meat with fat on it Meat with fat cut off, poultry with skin removed
Processed meats, sausages, pies Lean cuts of meat, fish/meat that is not in batter or in breadcrumbs
Fruit tinned in syrup Fresh fruit, fruit tinned in its own juice
Creamed soups Vegetable-based soups, broth
Cream Low-fat fromage frais
Mayonnaise/dressings Low-fat versions, balsamic vinegar
Confectionary (including chocolate, ice-cream) Keep as an occasional treat and biscuits, cakes, desserts, always keep portion sizes small.
Fizzy drinks Choose diet versions
Sugar Artificial sweeteners
Fizzy drinks Choose diet versions
Sugar Artificial sweeteners
Crisps and savoury snacks Popcorn

Eating enough starchy foods

Top tips on eating enough starchy foods:

  • Base each meal on a starchy food, like bread, pasta, cereals, potato or rice
  • Try out the different types of breads – rolls, wraps, pittas or sliced – choosing wholemeal varieties when you can
  • Put more rice or pasta and less sauce on your plate at dinnertime
  • Start the day with some energy-giving starchy foods like wholemeal toast, porridge or a healthy wholegrain breakfast cereal

And remember

Only put a little bit of spread, sauce or cheese on your starchy foods to keep them low in fat.