Diet and nutrition
What should you know about diet and nutrition?
A well-balanced diet is the most important underlying factor for your body’s health. It provides the right vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep the body and mind strong and healthy. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Protein- builds healthy body tissues (e.g. your muscles, organs and skin), rebuilds damaged tissues and promotes a healthy immune system. On the whole, you can only get complete proteins from animal products, such as meat, fish, dairy produce and eggs. Plant products that contain them include soya beans and a grain called quinoa. Beans and other pulses, nuts and seeds and cereals all contain some protein.
- Carbohydrates- fuel the body and give you the energy you need in daily life. They also help to keep your vital organs running correctly. It is recommended that at least half of the energy in your diet should come from carbohydrates.
- Fat is an important part of your diet but it is important not to eat too much. Aim to replace foods that are high in saturated fats, such as butter, pastries and cheese with foods that are rich in unsaturated fats, such as avocado and olive oil.
- Fibre- essential for keeping your bowel healthy. Fibre can be found in wholemeal bread, wholegrain breakfast cereals, brown rice, fruit and vegetables, oats, beans and pulses.
- Vitamins and Minerals- help your body to grow and develop. Minerals are found in foods such as meat, cereals (including cereal products such as bread), fish, milk and dairy foods, vegetables, fruit (especially dried fruit) and nuts. Fat-soluble vitamins are found mainly in fatty foods such as animal fats, including butter and lard, vegetable oils, dairy foods, liver and oily fish. Water-soluble vitamins are found in fruit, vegetables and grains. It is important to get a balance between both vitamin groups.
- Water- is vital for life. Drinking enough each day will help to replace the water you lose through breathing, sweating and urinating and therefore prevent dehydration. It is recommended that women drink 1.6 litres a day and men drink 2 litres a day. That's about eight 200ml glasses for a woman and 10 200ml glasses for a man.
People who eat and unbalanced diet and excessive amounts of fat have a higher risk of developing the following conditions:
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- high cholesterol and heart disease
- some types of cancer
Eating a balanced and healthy diet is therefore vital for maintaining a healthy body weight. In order to help you consume a balanced diet, the NHS have developed the ‘eatwell plate’, which shows you the correct proportions of each food category in order to get the balance right.
Where can you go?
The Mindful Eating Programme is a self referral weight loss course that shows you how to manage your weight and how to be more aware about your diet. The programme is run at Bracknell Leisure Centre. Group meetings and one-to-one consultations are held on Thursday mornings and drop in and weigh in sessions are held on alternate Thursdays.
If you are looking to lose and/or manage your weight Slimming World can help you to maintain a balanced and nutritional diet and reach and stay at a healthy weight by providing weekly local weight loss support groups.
If you meet set criteria then you may be eligible for a free referral to Slimming World. Referrals are made via Bracknell Forest GP practices, stop smoking service and children centres. This will enable you to access a free 12-week course to Slimming World if the programme criteria are met. For further information please email Public.Health@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.
Contact details for local services
The Mindful Eating Programme
East Berkshire Nutrition and Dietetics Service
Tel: 01753 636724
Tel: 0844 897 8000