Portion size is really important as too much or too little can increase the risk of health problems. For a healthy lifestyle you need to know more about the size of your portions, because it can be responsible for weight gain or problems such as heart attack or atherosclerosis.
How many calories you need each day to lose or maintain your weight depends on your age, weight, metabolism, whether you are male or female, how active you are, and other factors
Calories are the first thing that your body needs. It’s essential as it provides the energy to keep the body functions healthy.
The daily guidelines established by the UK government in nutrition for a man should be 2500 calories and 2000 calories for a woman
They are an essential source of energy that your body needs: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and oats
Recommended portion for carbohydrates:
1 medium slice of bread Pasta (boiled)
2-3 tablespoons Rice (boiled)
1 medium baked potato (with skin)
Breakfast cereal: 3 tablespoons
Porridge oats: 3 tablespoons
Always choose whole grain food, and always check the ingredients to avoid the sugar hidden in the bread or cereals
According to the NHS Eatwell guide people should try to:
Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
Base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
Drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)
Fruit and vegetables
They are a good source of vitamins and minerals and fibre, and should make up just over a third of the food you eat each day.
Try to eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day (fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced)
People who eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day have a lower risk of getting cancer, heart disease or stroke!
Milk and dairy food (or alternatives)
Milk and dairy foods, such as cheese and yoghurt, are good sources of protein. They also contain calcium, which helps keep your bones healthy.
Go for lower fat and lower sugar products where possible.
Choose semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed milk, as well as lower fat hard cheeses or cottage cheese, and lower fat, lower sugar yoghurt.
Dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks, are also included in this food group.
When buying alternatives, choose unsweetened, calcium-fortified versions.
Proteins: fish, eggs, meat, fish etc.
These foods are all good sources of protein and provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals (essential for the body to grow and repair itself).
Meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals (iron, zinc and B vitamins). It is also the main sources of vitamin B12.
Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including 1 portion of oily fish for omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals.
Beans, peas and lentils
Naturally very low in fat and high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. Nuts are high in fibre but do contain high level of fat, so eat in moderation!
Oils and spreads
Adding fat in your diet is essential, but we have a tendency to eat too much saturated fat on average. Make sure to get most of your fat from unsaturated oils and spreads
All types of fat are high in energy and should be eaten in small amounts.
Eat less saturated fat, sugar and salt
Saturated fat: can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood and the risk of developing heart disease.
Sugar: eating foods and drinks that are high in sugar increases the risk of obesity
Salt: eating too much salt can increase your blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease or stroke.
Portion size matters, but more importantly what you put in your plate matters more!
Make sure to make healthier choices by cutting down on saturated fat, sugar and salt,