Health Information Week – Healthy lifestyles

To kick start Health Information Week we have compiled 10 top tips to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle:

  1. Eat a variety of foods, we need more than 40 different nutrients, and no single food can supply them all. It is not about a single meal, it is about balanced food choices over time that will make a difference!
  2. Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates – About half the calories in our diet should come from foods rich in carbohydrates, such wholegrain foods, like wholegrain bread, pasta, and cereals, will increase our fibre intake. 
  3. Replace saturated with unsaturated fat – Fats are important for good health and proper functioning of the body. However, too much of it can negatively affect our weight and cardiovascular health. Different kinds of fats have different health effects, and some of these tips could help us keep the balance right.
  4. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving us enough vitamins, minerals and fibre. We should try to eat at least 5 servings a day. Perhaps an apple and a piece of watermelon as snacks, and a good portion of different vegetables at each meal
  5. Reduce salt and sugar intake – A high salt intake can result in high blood pressure, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  6. Eat regularly, control the portion size – Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help control hunger, but snacking should not replace proper meals. For snacks, we could choose yogurt, or unsalted nuts.
  7. Drink plenty of fluids – Adults need to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day! Or more if it’s very hot or they are physically active. Water is the best source, of course, and we can use tap or mineral water, sparkling or non-sparkling, plain or flavoured. 
  8. Maintain a healthy body weight – The right weight for each us depends on factors like our gender, height, age, and genes. Being overweight increases the risks of a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
  9. Get moving and make it a habit! Physical activity is important for people of all weight ranges and health conditions. It helps us burn off the extra calories, it is good for the heart and circulatory system, it maintains or increases our muscle mass, it helps us focus, and improves overall health well-being. We don’t have to be top athletes to get on the move! 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity is advised, and it can easily become part of our daily routine.
  10. Start Now! Gradual changes in our lifestyle are easier to maintain than major changes introduced all at once. For three days, we could write down the foods and drinks we consume throughout the day, and make a note of the amount of movement we made. This will help you to see where improvements could be made.