In a nutshell:
You are what you eat so they say… so if healthy goes in it can only mean one thing right?
- Healthy on a budget
- Ten top tips
- Healthy recipes
We all know the sayings, ‘an apple a day’ and ‘your body’s a temple’, but let’s face it, when time is in short supply and the purse strings are tight it can often see us take the shortcuts and fill up on sugary snacks or unhealthy ready meals. The number of people who are obese in the UK is on the rise, as are those with heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. The fact is that getting your five a day doesn’t need to be complicated or involve huge amounts of work or money. As with most things it’s easy once you know how – so here’s a few key tips and recipes to help you take a step in the right direction.
NHS Choices have produced ten common sense, but useful tips on how you can eat well on a budget and a short film that gives some useful hints and tips about making a meal go further. Just hit the “show me more” button at the top or bottom of the page to see them.
The main messages to keep to your budget are:
- Plan before you buy
- Steer clear of known brands
- Buy in season
- Buy things with a longer shelf life like lentils and beans
It all sounds so easy until we get cravings, so what’s available to help us stick to being healthy. Here’s eight key tips from NHS Choices that will guide in the right direction.
1. Base your meals on starchy foods
Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Choose wholegrain varieties (or eat potatoes with their skins on) when you can: they contain more fibre, and can help you feel full.
2. Eat lots of fruit and veg
It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day. It’s easier than it sounds. A glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice (150ml) can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count.
3. Eat more fish
Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week. You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.
4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar – this is the biggy
We all need some fat in our diet. But it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we’re eating. There are two 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.
Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as hard cheese, cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, butter, lard and pies. Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake, and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.
For a healthier choice, use just a small amount of vegetable oil or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee. When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat.
Most people in the UK eat and drink too much sugar. Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories), and if eaten too often, can contribute to weight gain.
Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means that the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means that the food is low in sugar.
5. Eat less salt
Even if you don’t add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much. About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces. 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.
Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt. Adults and children over 11 should eat no more than 6g of salt a day. Younger children should have even less.
6. Get active and be a healthy weight
Simple take a look at our getting active page
7. Don’t get thirsty
We need to drink about 1.6 – 2.0 litres of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated. This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water and milk are the most healthy.
Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added sugars and calories, and are also bad for teeth.
8. Don’t skip breakfast
Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. In fact, research shows that eating breakfast can help people control their weight. A healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet, and provides some of the vitamins and minerals we need for good health. Wholemeal cereal with fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and nutritious breakfast.
A bit of inspiration to stay happy and healthy
To see more about calories, the full article above and expert advice on eating healthy from the NHS just go to the NHS Live Well pages.
Our favourite healthy recipes
Although our first recipe is from NHS Live Well hub, we think that shopping on supermarket websites is a great way to go as many of them, like Tesco, have their own quick and healthy recipes sections which you can then select for the ingredients to be put into your basket or you can get them text to you.
If you’re short of time this is brilliant as you don’t have to worry about what you’ve forgotten. If you’re short on money as well then there are also some great ideas on budgeting too.
- Chilli con carne – Grab it
- Broccoli and beef stir-fry recipe – Grab it
- Spaghetti with sundried tomato purée, basil and Parmesan recipe – Grab it
For more healthy recipes from Tesco just visit their realfood site.