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Nutrition and Hydration Week 2017 – Are you eating the right foods?

shutterstock_181201646To celebrate Nutrition and Hydration week 2017, Our Registered Dietitian Ruth Smith, offers her advice in the third of  this five part series published every day during Nutrition and Hydration Week 2017

Are you eating the right foods?

Did you know….

  • A balanced diet is one that contains fibre-rich starchy foods, adequate protein, is low in fat, especially saturated fat, sugar and salt, and rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • That going more than five hours without eating can lead to a low blood sugar level which can impair your mood, concentration, and make you more irritable.
  • Starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, cereals, rice and pasta should make up about a third of the food you eat. Where you can, choose wholegrain varieties, or eat potatoes with their skins on for more fibre.
  • Starchy foods are a good source of energy, fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram they contain fewer than half the calories of fat. Just watch out for the added fats used when you cook and serve them as this is what increases the calorie content.
  • Meat, fish, eggs and beans are all good sources of protein, which is essential for the growth and repair of the body. Meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc and B vitamins, including B12.  Fish is another important source of protein, and contains many vitamins and minerals. Oily fish is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids which protect the heart.  Eggs and pulses (including beans, nuts and seeds) are also great sources of protein.
  • Milk and dairy foods such as cheese and yoghurt are good sources of protein. They also contain calcium, which helps to keep your bones healthy.
  • To lower your fat intake:  Eat lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry whenever possible to cut down on saturated fat.  Use semi-skimmed milk, skimmed milk or 1% fat milks, lower-fat hard cheeses or cottage cheese, and lower-fat yoghurt.
  • Most adults and children in the UK eat too much sugar. Cut down by eating fewer sugary foods, such as sweets, cakes and biscuits, and drinking fewer sugary soft drinks.
  • 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 such as bread, breakfast cereal and ready meals.  A diet that is high in salt can cause raised blood pressure, which currently affects around one third of adults in the UK.  A few simple steps can help you to cut your salt intake.
  • Information on how to achieve the 5-a-day goal for fruits and vegetables will be explained in tomorrow’s nutrition bulletin.

For more information and tips please see;


This information is provided to promote healthy eating in the workplace for healthy individuals.  It is not intended for the use of anyone who is pregnant or has a medical condition.

Posted in: Dietitian - Ruth Smith, News

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