Healthy eating and your LighterLife journey involves letting go of the pounds but more importantly understanding your relationship with food and establishing new helpful habits that will help you maintain your weight.
Management clients often come to me and explain how they just don’t understand how they can eat 5 portions of fruit and veg in one day and some clients admit to never eating vegetables ever! Whether you are following our Lite plan, are in Management or just want to learn to eat more healthily, these tips from Safefood Ireland will help.
Healthy eating involves including lots of variety in your eating land and fruit and vegetables have loads to offer! Aim to eat at least five portions every day. Fresh, frozen, tinned, dried and juiced fruit and vegetables all count. Not potatoes though – they’re counted as a starchy food.
Tips for eating enough fruit and vegetables
- Include some fruit or veg at every meal
- Keep some tinned, dried and frozen fruit and veg at home for times when you’ve nothing fresh to hand
- Chopped fruit or crunchy vegetable sticks make a great snack – keep some nearby to munch on throughout the day
- Add a handful of fresh or dried fruit to your breakfast cereal
- Put some salad into your lunchtime sandwich
- Throw some frozen vegetables into curries and stews, or on top of pizzas
- Try an unsweetened fruit juice when out with friends instead of a coffee. It’s best to have fruit juice with a meal to protect your teeth
Fruit and vegetables are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals to help keep us in tip-top health. They’re low in fat so they make ideal snacks. They give us the fibre we need for healthy digestion. And by eating fruit and vegetables every day, you can reduce your risk of getting heart disease and some cancers.
How much is a portion?
The list below shows what makes up one portion of fruit or vegetables for an adult. A portion for a young children is about half this size, and gets bigger as the child grows older.
1 portion of fruit is
- 1 apple / orange / pear / banana or other similar sized fruit
- 2 plums / kiwi fruits / satsumas / mandarins or other similar sized fruit
- ½ grapefruit or avocado
- 1 large slice of pineapple or melon
- 1 cupful of grapes or berries
- 3 heaped tablespoons of fruit salad or stewed fruit
- 1 heaped tablespoon of dried fruit
- 1 small glass of fruit juice (fruit juice can only count as 1 portion each day)
1 portion of vegetables is
- 1 dessert bowl of salad
- 1 small bowl of homemade vegetable soup
- 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables (raw, cooked, frozen or tinned)
- 3 heaped tablespoons of beans and pulses (beans and pulses can only count as 1 portion each day)
To get the most from your fruit and vegetables
- Eat a variety of fruit and veg for maximum benefits
- Buy whatever is in season – it’ll be cheaper and fresher
- Cover and refrigerate any fruit or vegetables that you’ve cut
- Stir-fry, steam or microwave your veggies – this way, none of their goodness is lost
- Buy fruit tinned in its own juice rather than fruit tinned in syrup
- When buying tinned vegetables, compare like-for-like and go for brands that are lower in salt
- Spoon natural yoghurt over fruit salad instead of cream
Safefood is an all-island implementation body set up under the British-Irish Agreement with a general remit to promote awareness and knowledge of food safety and nutrition issues on the island of Ireland. We would recommend you visit their site and like their Facebook page to ensure you get all the latest news. Safefood EU