How healthy is your food?
What you eat, and how much, is so important for your health and your waistline. Choosing healthier foods is easier than you might think.
There are lots of cheap and tasty ways you and your family can eat well every day.
Food and you
If you eat too many foods that are high in fat and sugar, and you're not as active as you should be, you're more likely to put on weight.
Becoming overweight or obese increases your risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
Too much sugar
Too much sugar can lead to the build-up of harmful fat on the inside of our bodies that we can't see. This fat can cause serious diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Eating too much sugar can also cause tooth decay.
Watch out for saturated fat
There are different kinds of fat in the food we eat – saturated and unsaturated fat. We need some fat to help our bodies absorb vitamins and stay healthy. But we shouldn't have too much, especially saturated fat as this can raise our cholesterol, leading to serious problems such as a heart attack or stroke.
Too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at increased risk of health problems, such as heart disease and stroke. You don't have to add salt to food to be eating too much – 75% of the salt we eat is already in everyday foods including bread, breakfast cereal and ready meals.
Why eat well?
Whether you're trying to lose weight, get in shape or just live a healthier life, eating well has lots of benefits. From improving your health to saving you money, there are lots of reasons to eat well.
For your family
Eating well is important for the whole family. Healthier foods help your kids get what they need to grow, be healthy and stop them from becoming overweight. It also helps teach them to make healthy food choices for themselves when they grow up.
Eating healthily is great for your body and your wallet and it doesn't have to cost more. Preparing and cooking your own meals is generally cheaper than buying a takeaway or a ready meal, and because it's easier to control what goes in to your meal, it can be healthier.
Eating healthily and the right amount can help you feel your best, stop you gaining weight and lower your risks of getting some diseases. When it comes to watching your weight, it's not just food you need to watch out for as some drinks can also be high in calories.
Eat well now
You can still enjoy the foods you love, by making some small changes and food swaps to help you cut back. Switching from dairy products that are full fat and high in sugar to ones that are low fat and have less sugar can really help.
And, why not try cooking healthy recipes from scratch at least one night a week?
Most of us could do with eating less sugar, especially added sugar – extra sugar added by manufacturers or you at home. But many habits, especially ones we like, are so hard to kick. Cut down by watching out for sugar when you shop and making smart sugar swaps.
Cut back on fat
We all know too much fat is bad for us, but it seems to be in lots of things we like. You can eat less saturated fat and still eat well. Check the labels when you shop and swap high-fat foods for ones that are lower in saturated fat.
Eat less salt
Try simple ways to cut down on salt. Whether you're eating at home or eating out, don't add salt to your food automatically – taste it first, it probably already tastes good. Shop for low-salt or reduced-salt foods, and watch out for salt by checking the labels on everyday items.
Other Health Information
How much have you moved today?
If you aren't very active you increase your risk of developing serious health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. It's easy to move more, do something today!