10 Principles of a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Carbohydrate choices
Reduce intake of simple, refined carbs such as white bread, cakes, biscuits. Replace with complex carbs such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, brown pasta. Try to consume complex carbs such as freshly made porridge for breakfast to get you started for the day.
2. Protein choices
Choose lean, white meat and fish. Choose beans, seeds, nuts, eggs and wholegrains.
3. Fat choices
Remember fat is an essential nutrient for our bodies. Consumption of unsaturated fats is thought to have health benefits. Eat oily fish such as mackeral, tuna and sardines to obtain essential fatty acids. Cook with small quantities of olive oil. Limit consumption of saturated fats such as butter, cheese, fried foods, full fat milk etc. Choose alternatives such as semi skimmed or almond milk.
4. Water intake
Drink at least 2 litres of water a day. More if exercising! Remember that a lot of fluid can also come from the food we eat, with many fruits and vegetabls containing up to 90% water.
5. Five a day vegetables and fruit
Consume at least 5 portions of vegetables and fruit every day (excluding potatoes). Aim to eat more vegetables than fruit, to limit fructose sugars.
6. Limit alcohol
Limit alcohol intake to 2-3 units per day for women or 3-4 units per day for men.
7. Limit caffeine
Limit caffeine intake to no more than 300mg per day - this is roughly 6 cups of tea or 4 cups of instant coffee, or just 2 shop bought coffees.
8. Limit salt
Limit salt intake to 3-6g per day. Do not add salt to food. Avoid salted crisps, nuts etc - try unsalted nuts instead. Eat fewer processed foods and 'ready meals' which often have a high salt content.
9. Limit cholestrol
Eat no more than 3 egg yolks per week. Eat liver and other organ meat rarely.
10. Exercise regularly
Undertake at least 150 minutes (2hrs, 30mins) of moderate intensity aerobic activity pwe week. This exercise should raise your heart rate, your breathing should become faster and you should feel warmer. You should be able to talk but not sing! Activities could include walking fast or cycling. In addition, you should undertake muscle strengthening activities twice a week that work all the major muscle groups.