- Eat as wide a variety of foods as possible for a balanced diet.
- Eat regularly throughout the day, having breakfast, lunch and dinner, with snacks in between.
- Eat the best-quality foods that you can - fresh, unrefined and unadulterated foods.
- Drink plenty of water to cleanse your system, stay hydrated and stave off hunger.
- Eat a considerable amount of complex carbohydrates and fibre - pasta, bread, potatoes, cereals, grains and pulses.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates such as pastries, biscuits and cakes, as they are high in saturated fat and may contain trans-fats.
- Eat a diet low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Ensure that you consume mainly unsaturated fat - monosaturated and polyunsaturated - for essential fatty acids to maintain optimum body function.
- Eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day - where possible eat them raw or lightly cooked for optimum intake of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, and eat plenty of leafy greens and red and orange vegetables.
- Eat more plant and fish-based meals and less meat.
- Ensure that you eat a sufficient amount of protein for cell growth and maintenance.
- Watch out for foods that contain large amounts of sugar and salt. Beware of labels claiming that a food is 'low fat' - high sugar content may be just as fattening! Use herbs and spices for taste and use less salt when cooking.
- Minimise your consumption of alcohol as it is highly calorific and in large quantities bad for your health - however if you do enjoy the occasional drink, choose red wine, as evidence shows that in small quantities it does have some nutritional value.
- Do not eat within half an hour of waking or in the two hours before going to bed, as your metabolism will not be functioning at an optimum rate.
- Reduce your consumption of stimulants such as tea and coffee - they hinder the absorption of nutrients and put your body in a state of stress.
By Liz Andrew
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