Key to a healthy, balanced Diet                                    Main Page                                   Home

Look and feel good

Everyone knows that if you want to look and feel good, you need to follow a healthy, balanced diet. All foods can be
enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, if you can get the balance right.
Making simple changes to what you eat could improve your body's resistance to disease and may even help to
protect you and your family from diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes later in life.
Other lifestyle changes, like taking up regular exercise, maintaining an ideal body weight and quitting smoking are
also important steps to achieving better health.
The key to a healthy diet is a variety of foods chosen in the right balance from the groups of foods shown in this
article.  

Eat least of the fatty and sugary foods
*oil, margarine, butter, mayonnaise, doughnuts, sweets, sweetened drinks, chocolates, chips, fatty take aways and
pies are some of the foods which make up this small portion of the groups of food in this article
*these foods usually have a very high energy content, and can cause weight-gain
*eating too much saturated fat ( animal fat) can increase the risk of heart disease
*avocado, some nuts and olive and canola oils are rich in the heart healthy monounsaturated fats - use them daily in
moderate quantities
*choose low-fat products, boil, bake or steam foods rather than frying and avoid convinience and fast foods which have
a hidden fat content
Use sparingly
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Milk and dairy products
*this group is rich in calcium, protein and other important vitamins
*calcium is the mineral responsible for bone formation
*enjoy these foods daily in moderate quantities
*choose the low fat alternatives such as low fat or skim milk, cottage cheese, low fat yoghurts and reduced fat cheese
*full-cream milk should be given to children aged 0 -2 years, as they contain essential fat and nutrients for early growth
Meat, fish and alternatives
*red meat is rich in iron and vitamin B12
*dry beans and lentils are fat-free and provide an important source of soluble fibre
*eat less fats by avoiding processed meats such as polony and salami; choosing lean meats and trimming off all visible
fat and skin from poultry
*try to eat fish at least twice a week, especially the omega 3 fatty acid-rich varieties such as herring, salmon, mackerel,
pilchards and sardines
Have 2 - 3 servings each day
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Eat more fruit and vegetables
*at least five portions of fruit and / or vegetables are recommended daily
*choose a wide variety, including frozen, canned, dried varieties and fruit-juice
*fruit and vegetables are rich in a range of vitamins and fibre
*vitamin C is an anti-oxidant important in the daily functioning of body cells
*citrus fruits, guavas, strawberries, litchis, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes and green peppers are rich in vitamin C
*carotene, another anti-oxidant, is found in dark green, deep yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots,
pumpkin, butternuts, spinach, pawpaw, mangoes, apricots and yellow peaches
Have 3 - 5 vegetables and 2 - 4 fruits each day
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Eat most of breads, cereals and other starch foods
*this group of foods should form the basis of every meal
*all foods in this group have a  very low fat content, yet they provide us with glucose for energy
*choose the unrefined, fibre-rich foods, such as oats, wholewheat bread, wholegrain cereals, brown rice and
 unrefined maize
*try to avoid cooking or serving these foods with additional oil or fat
Eat most of this group - 6 to 11 servings each day

Please note that this advice is primarily for adults and children over 5 years old.