Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating


The key to a healthy diet is to
eat the right amount of calories for how active you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use

Bariatric / Metabolic surgery

It is recommended that men receive around 2,500 calories a day and women receive around 2,000 calories a day, in balance with daily activity and body habitus. Base your meals on high fibre starchy carbohydrates. Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals.

If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you'll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you'll lose weight. You should eat a wide range of foods to make sure you're getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

9 DOS & DON'TS for a healthy diet


Choose high fibre or wholegrain varieties

Such as wholegrain pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on. They contain more fibre than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer. Try to include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.

Keep an eye on the fats

When you 're cooking or serving these types of foods because that's what increases the calorie content – for example, oil in foods, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.

Eat lots of fruit and vegetable

It is recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. Prefer fresh, frozen or dried. Getting your 5 a day is easier than it sounds. Why not chop a piece of fruit over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit? A portion of fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A portion of dried fruit (which should be kept to mealtimes) is 30g. A 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as 1 portion, but limit the amount you have to no more than 1 glass a day as these drinks contain a lot of sugars.

Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including at least 1 portion of oily fish. Oily fish are high in omega-3 fats, which may help prevent heart disease.

Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

You need some fat in your diet, but it's important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you're eating. There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day. Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5. Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as olive oil or avocados. For a healthier choice, use a small amount of olive oil, or reduced-fat vegetable based spread instead of butter. When you're having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat. All types of fat are high in energy, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.

Eat less salt

No more than 6g a day for adults. Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much. About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, breads, ready soups and sauces. Use food labels to help you cut down salt. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt. Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt (about a teaspoonful) a day. Younger children should have even less.

Regular exercise may help reduce your risk of developing serious health conditions

It is also important for your overall health and wellbeing. Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health.

Do not get thirsty

You need to drink plenty of fluids to stop you getting dehydrated. You need at least 2L of water every day. This is in addition to the fluids you get from the food you eat. Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, as they're high in calories. They're also bad for your teeth. Even unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies are high in free sugar. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day, which is a small glass. Remember to drink more fluids during hot weather and while exercising.

Do not skip breakfast

Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. A healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet, and can help you receive the nutrients you need for good health. Wholegrain low sugar cereals with semi-skimmed milk and fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and healthier breakfast option.


Bariatric / Metabolic surgery

A true Mediterranean diet is based on the region’s traditional fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seafood, olive oil, and dairy—with perhaps a glass or two of red wine. That’s how the inhabitants of Crete used to eat in the past, when their rates of chronic disease were among the lowest in the world and their life expectancy among the highest, despite having access only to limited medical services. The real Mediterranean diet though, is more than just eating fresh, wholesome food. Daily physical activity and sharing meals with others are vital elements. Together, they can have a profound effect on your mood and mental health and help you foster a deep appreciation for the pleasures of eating healthy and delicious foods.

Reduce your risk of serious health problems

A traditional Mediterranean diet consisting of large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish, and olive oil—coupled with physical activity—can reduce your risk of serious mental and physical health problems by:

  • Preventing heart disease and strokes. Following a Mediterranean diet limits your intake of refined breads, processed foods, and red meat, and encourages drinking red wine instead of hard liquor—all factors that can help prevent heart disease and stroke.
  • Keeping you agile. If you’re an older adult, the nutrients gained with a Mediterranean diet may reduce your risk of developing muscle weakness and other signs of frailty by about 70%.
  • Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet may improve cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and overall blood vessel health, which in turn may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
  • Halving the risk of Parkinson’s disease. The high levels of antioxidants in the Mediterranean diet can prevent cells from undergoing a damaging process called oxidative stress, thereby cutting the risk of Parkinson’s disease in half.
  • Increasing longevity. By reducing your risk of developing heart disease or cancer with the Mediterranean diet, you ’re reducing your risk of death at any age by 20%.
  • Protecting against type 2 diabetes. Mediterranean diet is rich in fibre which is digested slowly, prevents huge swings in blood sugar, and can help you maintain a healthy weight.

How to make the change


Eat lots of vegetables

Eating more fruits and vegetables by enjoying salad as a starter or side dish, snacking on fruit, and adding veggies to other dishes. Try a simple plate of sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and crumbled feta cheese, or load your thin crust pizza with peppers and mushrooms instead of bacon or pepperoni.

Cook a vegetarian meal one night a week

If it’s helpful, you can jump on the “Meatless Mondays” trend of foregoing meat on the first day of the week.
Or simply pick a day where you build meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables.
Once you get the hang of it, try two nights a week.

Enjoy dairy products in moderation

Limit high-fat dairy by switching to skim or 1% milk from whole milk. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends limiting saturated fat to no more than 10% of your daily calories (about 200 calories for most people). That still allows you to enjoy dairy products such as natural (unprocessed) cheese and Greek yogurt.

Always eat breakfast

Fruit, whole grains, and other fiber-rich foods are a great way to start your day, keeping you pleasantly full for hours.

For dessert, eat fresh fruit

Instead of ice cream, cake or other baked goods, opt for strawberries, fresh figs, grapes, or apples.

Use good fats

Extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, sunflower seeds, olives, and avocados are great sources of healthy fats for your daily meals. Sautéing food in olive oil instead of butter.

Eat seafood

twice a week, substituting fish for red meat. Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and shellfish like mussels and oysters have similar benefits for brain and heart health.

Choosing whole grains

instead of refined breads, rice, and pasta.

Make mealtimes a social experience!

The simple act of talking to a friend or loved over the dinner table can play a big role in relieving stress and boosting mood. Eating with others can also prevent overeating, making it as healthy for your waistline as it is for your outlook. Switch off the TV and computer, put away your smartphone, and connect to someone over a meal. Gather the family together and stay up to date with each other’s daily lives. Regular family meals provide comfort to kids and are a great way to monitor their eating habits as well. Share meals with others to expand your social network. If you live alone, cook a little extra and invite a friend, coworker, or neighbor to join you. Cook with others. Invite a friend to share shopping and cooking responsibilities for a Mediterranean meal. Cooking with others can be a fun way to deepen relationships and splitting the costs can make it cheaper for both of you.

Additional Info

Saturated fat
Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as:
  • fatty cuts of meat
  • sausages
  • butter
  • hard cheese
  • cream
  • cakes
  • biscuits

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