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So you want to improve your Diet


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Why you should eat healthily

Following a healthy balanced diet will not only reduce your risk of serious illness, it will also provide you with lots more energy. And it doesn't mean you can't ever enjoy your favourite treats, it just means looking at your diet to see where you can replace certain foods with healthier alternatives. But don't worry it's not as difficult as it seems!
10 easy steps towards a healthier diet
  • Change the oil you cook with to olive oil
  • Try to limit the number of processed foods you consume
  • Set aside two pieces of fruit each morning to eat during the day
  • Have 3 different vegetables instead of 2 with your evening meal
  • Change to semi-skimmed milk
  • Snack on dried fruit instead of sweets
  • Drink water and fruit juice instead of fizzy soft drinks
  • Reduce the amount of tea and coffee you drink a day
  • Reduce your sugar and salt intake. While you're cutting down you may find using an artificial sweetner/low-sodium salt helpful.
  • Try to have chips as a once a week treat, choose jacket potatoes or rice instead.
Won't I always feel hungry if I'm eating 'healthy food' all the time?

No, because you won't be eating less food, just different types. It's about swapping foods that are not so good for you such as red meat, fried foods and processed meals, with healthier options like chicken, fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. Wholegrain bread, rice and pasta are very filling and full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. So increase your portions of these and you won't be left ravenous!
How can I be healthy when my family and work colleagues continue to eat junk food around me?
Try to get them involved! At home it is possible to cook healthy, great tasting food for the whole family, in fact if you don't tell them it's 'good for them' they probably won't even notice! For example, a chicken and vegetable stir-fry served with rice is very good for you. And although it only uses a tiny amount of oil it has bags of flavour from the garlic, ginger and soy sauce it's cooked with. At work always have plenty of healthy snacks such as nuts and fruit at hand, so if you are tempted to eat when everybody else is, at least it'll be something nutritious.
Useful Tips
Following a healthy diet doesn't have to mean you can't eat out or have a takeaway sometimes. Most menus will have something that good for you.
Always go for plain rice rather than pilau, which contain lots of oil. Chicken tikka and tandoori dishes are a good choice as they are cooked using only spices and yoghurt. Avoid korma and pasanda as they contain lots of cream. Order vegetable side dishes containing cauliflower, spinach and okra, instead of naan bread; they will provide you with far more vitamins.
Again plain rice is better for you than egg or special fried. Stir-fried chicken and prawns are the healthiest dishes you can opt for. Try to avoid things cooked in batter like sweet and sour pork balls or dim sum. Order mixed vegetables rather than spring rolls or sesame toast if you're watching your waistline.

Choose the smallest portion of chips available and if you're eating them at home try blotting them with kitchen towel first to remove as much grease as possible. Remove the batter from the fish or go for something in breadcrumbs like fishcakes.

If you fancy a pizza, share one with your partner instead of having a whole one yourself and fill up on a green side salad. Opt for a plain topping - tuna or vegetables are a good choice. Don't order garlic bread, it just means lots of extra fat and calories without any nutritional benefit. When it comes to pasta, choose a tomato-based sauce rather than a creamy high-fat one. Avoid lasagne and cannelloni for the same reasons.

Good luck - it really is worth it!