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Have you been looking for ways to create a healthier diet? Tips and tricks to eat well, for yourself and for the planet
How to eat more healthily? It’s a highly ranked search term, indicating that a lot of people are thinking about what they put in their bodies. But you don’t have to completely overhaul your diet. A few healthy eating tweaks and tricks can make a big difference.
Up your fibre
Are you getting your 30g of fibre every day? Did you even know that is what you were meant to be eating? According to the British Heart Foundation, this is the amount of fibre that keeps our digestive systems healthy.
Wholegrain options are a great way to switch out foods we may regularly eat, for example pasta, rice, or bread. Most supermarkets now are price-matching their products, so buying wholegrain options can be a cheap way to up your fibre.
Fibre bars and snacks are made to look very appealing and ‘healthy’. Don’t be fooled
For breakfast, opt for wholemeal toast or high-fibre cereal such as plain Weetabix, or oats for a porridge. Adding fruit to this will make it yummier and add fibre.
For lunch it’s hard to beat a jacket potato with beans. Eat the potato skin. It’s a very high source of fibre. If you’re a potato lover, you can regularly create high fibre meals with golden roasties or spicy wedges.
You may hear about these fibre bars and snacks which are made to look very appealing and ‘healthy’. Don’t be fooled, they can be packed with sugar. Instead, have fruit.
For dinner, a warm tomato and kidney bean curry, packed with spices and veggies. Pair this with wholegrain rice and you’ve well exceeded your 30g daily fibre target.
Five a day keeps the doctors away
Going to the doctor isn’t always the most enjoyable task. Diets high in fruit and vegetables are linked with lower risk of diseases, strokes, and cancers. We all know about eating your five a day, but it’s also important to ‘eat the rainbow’.
This means having a combination of fruits and veg – all colours of the rainbow – as they offer different nutrients. It’s a simple way to eat more healthily.
When you’re next in the supermarket, have a look in the frozen section. It’s great value for your money buying frozen fruit and veg. It is still packed with the same nutrients and will last you way longer.
The planet will also benefit from you eating more fruit and veg. Growing and harvesting this type of food has a much lower environmental impact than others. A lot of the time we buy foods that get chucked away, especially with fruit and veg. According to The Eco Experts, households are responsible for 70 per cent of all UK food waste. This unfortunate figure should make us all want to use everything we buy.
When you’re next looking in your fridge wondering what to do with your left-over leaves, or all those berries, whip up a quick fruit salad, or smoothie for food on the go. Aim for zero waste in your fridge.
Higher protein, higher preservation
A varied protein diet is the best way to stay strong and maintain muscle as you get older. HealthHub offer lots of valuable information about the importance of protein. Swapping half of the meat on your plate for beans, lentils or sustainable fish can result in a much healthier diet.
Try making chickpea fajitas or a lentil dahl. Does eating a varied protein diet help the environment? Well yes, growing pulses helps in improving the soil health and reduce the number of fertilisers used. The farmers will thank you.
And if you were in any doubt about the carbon footprint of mass meat production, you should know that meat accounts for nearly 60% of all greenhouse gases from food production. So yeah, maybe aim for less meat.
Doesn’t always have to be fresh to be healthy
Don’t frown upon canned options. Foods such as beans, chickpeas or fish are examples of high protein sources. They are alternative way to incorporate protein into your diet, rather than buying fresh meat and fish. This may also save you some pennies. These tasty alternatives are an important way to keep a balanced diet.
If you’re a snacker, like me, nuts are such a good way to increase your protein. Specifically, almonds and walnuts. You can eat these by themselves or pair them with some apples and peanut butter.
A guide to hydration
We all know that keeping hydrated is so important, especially during the warmer months. There are so many funky and innovative ways to stay hydrated this summer. Eating water-rich foods is a good sneaky way to stay hydrated. The British Nutrition Foundation teaches us that we get around one fifth of our daily water intake from food. Whether that’s by eating the foods, creating smoothies, or making ice lollies. Foods such as cucumbers, celery, apples, or berries are great examples.
Try to limit or avoid drinking fizzy drinks and squashes.
You could even infuse your water with fruits and fresh mint to make a mocktail! There’s loads of great ideas in this feature on how to stay hydrated. Try to limit or avoid drinking fizzy drinks and squashes. There are far tastier ways to have your daily recommended sugar allowance. Which for those of you who didn’t know, is a max of 30g.
Carrying round a reusable bottle will give you constant access to water throughout your day. As well as doing your bit for the planet. Plastic bottles can be known to cause toxic chemicals transferring to your water in rising temperatures. I know I will be sticking to my reusable bottle this summer.
Drinking water may seem like such a simple thing to do. Getting in between one to two litres of water daily will make you feel so energised and refreshed. Pair this with all the other easy but effective tips and tricks we have given you, and you are set to be feeling your best. Remember, it is all about balance.
Having a three month break from uni, where she’s studying marketing, Ellie can normally be found in a coffee shop, on the beach or spending all her money on food.
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