5 fundamentals of a healthy diet

A healthy diet is vital to help boost wellbeing by improving your health. So, what is a healthy diet? We all have our own variations but in essence it boils down to the following 5 things:

  1. Lots of fruit
  2. Lots of vegetables
  3. Plenty of protein
  4. Complex or fibrous carbohydrates, not simple carbohydrates
  5. A lower fat intake

Like most diets it’s easier to say them than stick to them. But remember nobody’s perfect. There isn’t a highly tuned athlete in the world who doesn’t treat themselves with a cake or two now and again. So if they can, you certainly can.

It’s a matter of taking everything in moderation. In short, a balanced diet is a healthy diet, and top of the healthy diet list is fruit and vegetables.

A Healthy Diet: Fruit and vegetables

The benefits of eating fruit and vegetables are hardly breaking news. The reason they are so good is that they are good healthy all-rounders.

Fruit and vegetables deliver slower burning calories rich in vitamins and minerals that boost your immune system. They help maintain your digestive and respiratory systems, and improve your circulation.

Here are few tips about choosing the right ones.

  • Rainbow thoughts. Try to pick as wide a range of colours as possible for your fruit and vegetables. This will ensure they contain a wider range of nutrients and antioxidants
  • But, green is ALWAYS a winner (think lettuce, cucumber, beans, sprouts, cabbage, broccoli…)
  • Red is also a winner too as they tend to be very high in antioxidants, such as red peppers, red leaf salad leaves, beetroot, red cabbage etc

A Healthy Diet: Proteins

Proteins are broken down by the body and converted into amino acids. These have multiple uses in cell function. This includes boosting the immune system and helping to rebuild muscle after exercise.

The more you exercise the greater your need for protein.  This is because of an increased need for muscle repair and for replenishing energy stores.

So where do we find proteins? They are not hard to find in the supermarket: meats, dairy, eggs, beans and nuts. You just have to be careful about what else you’re eating with it.

For example, a steak gives you loads of protein but packs a fair punch of saturated fat to boot. Try to search out the leaner protein sources.

8 top protein sources for a healthy diet

These some of the top sources of protein for non-vegetarians. If you are a vegetarian click here for more on protein sources.

  1. Chicken, turkey, lean mince and fish. Eat about 30–40 grams per meal. This equates to a piece of meat about the size of the palm of your hand.
  2. Fish such as cod, plaice, haddock, bass etc
  3. Oily fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and trout
  4. Game meats, such as venison, pheasant, and partridge
  5. Sea and shellfish such as mussels, prawns, crab, lobster, squid, snapper, tuna, sea bass, monkfish, sole, and snapper
  6. Whey Protein shakes
  7. Low fat milk
  8. Low fat cheeses, such as cottage cheese