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Healthy Eating

03 Jun

Healthy Eating
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A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve general health. It is thought to be important for lowering health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. A healthy diet involves consuming primarily fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to satisfy caloric requirements, provide the body with essential nutrients, phytochemicals, and fibre, and provide adequate water intake. A healthy diet supports energy needs and provides for human nutrition without exposure to toxicity or excessive weight gain from consuming excessive amounts.
I think it is a good idea that we all stop and think about what we are eating. Many of us make numerous excuses not to eat properly – we haven’t time, we can’t afford to, we don’t like healthy foods, they don’t agree with me……….but at the end of the day.
WE ARE WHAT WE EAT!
If we take time to plan our eating perhaps 30-40 minutes each week all these excuses would disappear. It is so important that we stock our kitchen carefully. I know if there are only biscuits in the surgery then that is what I eat but if I organise myself I can snack and can eat very healthily with not much effort. Reading the news today I was saddened to read of children’s food ignorance. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-Cheese comes from plants and fish fingers are made of chicken, according to a significant number of children questioned on their knowledge of where food comes from.
The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) included more than 27,500 children in the research and found that nearly a third (29%) of primary school children think that cheese comes from plants, and nearly one in five (18%) primary school children said that fish fingers comes from chicken.The survey also found that one in 10 secondary school children believe that tomatoes grow under the ground. The largest of its kind, the study was conducted as part of the BNF’s Healthy Eating Week, which is launched on Monday by The Princess Royal.More than 3,000 schools are participating in the week-long event, during which more than 1.2 million children will learn about healthy eating, cooking and where food come from. Roy Ballam, education programme manager at the BNF, said the high numbers of schools taking part shows there is an understanding of how important it is to encourage healthy eating. And so it goes on…….Most of us are aware what we should be eating and most supermarket produce relevant literature and children in school are taught formally about healthy food but despite that they remain ignorant. To find out more about healthy eating  refer to the section in nhs choices http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/healthy-eating/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx.
Meals should be a social time to sit together to discuss the day, share each others concerns and as well as enjoy each others company. All members of the household whatever their age can help to prepare a meal and young teenagers ( before they want to opt out) can prepare a meal perhaps in the style of ‘come dine with me’ adding points for healthy eating. It is all great practice if they leave  home to go to University and learning to budget and cook healthily. Growing your own vegetables and herbs whether in a planter on a balcony or windowsill or finding a patch in the garden is very pleasing.  The supermarkets all seem to sell packets of seeds very cheaply and it so rewarding to eat your own. We are lucky to have a ‘Farmers Market’ in West Ealing on Saturday morning and look out for another one in Green Lanes, Hanwell.Healthy eating is an investment for future health and well being.

Written by Dr Jacqueline Bayer

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