Healthy Eating For Kids - Articles
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Healthy Eating - What Really is Healthy To Eat?
Ok, you've decided that you are going to eat healthily.
But with so many "experts" and reports on hand, what really counts as healthy food? There's so much conflicting advice, it's difficult to know where to start. Use this simple guide to set you on the right track.
- Fruit and Vegetables
The recommendation is at least 5 portions a day. That's a good target (but don't beat yourself up if there are occasional days when you miss it). An apple, orange or banana counts as one portion. Fruit like this is easy to "count". But what about vegetables? Don't get too hung up on what counts as a portion. If it looks right on the plate, it's probably correct. The trick is to eat fruit and vegetables regularly and to ring the changes so that you're not just stuck on 3 apples, a portion of frozen peas and a tomato each day.
- Bread,Cereals and Potatoes
These are generally considered healthy (although some diets that go back to ancient times, as well as low carb diets, would argue differently). If your chosen diet includes them, aim for whole grain breads and cereals as well as jacket potatoes. The best rule here is the lower the amount of processing the food has undergone, the better. Brown rice is more natural than white, for instance.
- Milk and Dairy Products
Again, go with your chosen diet on these. Most diets will include milk and dairy products as they contain essential trace nutrients that are difficult for you to get elsewhere. Beware of too much fat though. Whole milk obviously has more fat than skimmed or semi skimmed. If you're used to whole milk, consider making the trade down to skimmed milk gradually, otherwise it will just seem watery.
- Meat,Fish and Alternatives
You need to get protein in your diet and these are all good sources of it. Of course, if your chosen healthy eating plan is low carb then meat and fish will be heavily featured. Check out the fat content and if necessary, trim off excess fat or skim it off it you are cooking. Broiling rather than frying will help to keep the fat levels down as well.
Keep your sugar intake to a minimum. Learn to read the label, especially the umpteen different names that food manufacturers use to disguise the high sugar levels in many foods.
Try to keep your fat intake biased towards the healthier fats that are unsaturated, such as olive oil. Avoid hydrogenated fats if at all possible. If you're tempted to use margarine, read up on how it's produced and then decide. You may well be better to use real butter in moderation than a highly processed substance like margarine.
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