Healthy Peterborough

8 healthy eating tips

1. Base your meals on starchy foods

Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, bread, pasta and rice. Choose wholegrain varieties (or higher fibre options) and eat potatoes with their skins on when you can: they contain more fibre, and can help you feel fuller for longer.

2. Eat lots of fruit and veg

It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day. It’s easier than it sounds. Fresh, frozen and tinned all count. Dried and juiced count too but should be limited to a total 150ml unsweetened fruit juice and/or smoothies and 1 tablespoon (30g) dried fruit per day.

Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable sticks? Try adding whole or grated vegetables in to cooked dishes or add a handful of frozen berries to plain yoghurt.

3. Eat more fish

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions of sustainably sourced fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish.

Oily fish is a source of vitamin D, for healthy bones, and also contains omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease. You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned: but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt, so choose varieties with less salt where possible.

Sustainably sourced oily fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines and pilchards. Non-oily fish include sustainably sourced haddock, plaice, coley, cod, tinned tuna, skate and hake. If you regularly eat a lot of fish, try to choose as wide a variety as possible.

4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

We all need some fat in our diet. But it’s important to pay attention to the amount and  

type of fat we’re eating. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as hard cheese, chocolate, cakes and biscuits, also fatty cuts of meat, sausages, cream, butter, lard and ghee. Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake, and instead choose more foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.

Most people in the UK eat and drink too much sugar. Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy and if eaten too often, can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals. Try to cut down on sugary fizzy drinks, alcoholic drinks, sugary breakfast cereals, cakes, biscuits and pastries.

Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means that the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means that the food is low in sugar.

5. Eat less salt

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke

About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces. Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt, while less than 0.3g per 100g is low in salt.

6. Get Active and Reach a Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing type-2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Being underweight can also affect your health. Use the NHS BMI Calculator to check whether you are currently a healthy weight.

The government recommends adults do 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week. With muscle strength training on at least two days each week. Keeping active helps achieve a healthy weight and reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

7. Drink More Water

Water makes up about two-thirds of the weight of a healthy body. To stay healthy, it is important to replace the fluid we lose when we breathe, sweat or urinate.

Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid per day. Water is the best choice. Lower-fat milk, sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee all count. Remember to limit fruit juices and/or smoothies to 150ml a day. Alcohol is not included as a way to stay hydrated.

8. Eat Breakfast

Breakfast can provide important nutrients and energy. Eating breakfast helps support a healthy weight too. Plain Weetabix or shredded wheat, plain porridge or wholegrain toast each with added fruit make a good start to the day.





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Healthy Peterborough is led by:
  • Peterborough City Council
  • Peterborough Pharmacies
  • Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust