As an adult man, it is of course important you eat a healthy, varied diet both for good health and to help reduce your risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers that tend to become more common as you get older. A healthy, varied diet is based on starchy foods, such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice, some protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs and pulses, some milk and dairy foods and plenty of fruit and vegetables. For a healthy varied diet, aim to do the following:
Top tips for a healthy balanced diet
- Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. It is important to include a variety as they all contain different nutrients and benefits. These can be fresh, frozen, canned or dried or even a glass of fruit juice (for portion sizes see page 2).
- Eat more starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and cereals. These should be the base of most meals and make up a third of your diet.
- Cut down on foods which are high in saturated fat. Choose lower fat options such as semi-skimmed or 1% milk or reduced-fat cheese. Choose lean meat and trim off any fat and skin.
- Eat more pulses such as beans, peas and lentils.
- Try to eat fish at least twice a week and include one portion of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines or trout.
- Whenever possible grill, bake, poach, steam, boil or microwave your food. These are healthier ways to cook compared to frying or roasting in fat.
- Try to eat high fat/sugar foods only occasionally e.g. fried chips, sweets, crisps or pastries
- Reduce the amount of salt in your diet and use less salt in cooking.
- If you drink, do it in moderation - guidelines for men are up to 3 to 4 units of alcohol a day. As an example, a pint of strong lager or a large glass of wine contains 3 units, and a large single shot of spirits (35ml) contains 1.5 units.
- Keep hydrated. Try to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day. For more on hydration, click here
- © British Nutrition Foundation 2013