Eating a
healthy balanced diet is in fact very important for maintaining good health and
wellbeing. A balanced diet means eating a wide range of foods and the right amounts,
consuming the right amount of food and drink helps achieve and maintain a good
physical shape and weight. Small amounts of high fat foods and drink are
acceptable as long as they are limited. As recommended by the Eat well guide,
choosing a variety of different foods from the five main food types. People in
the UK consume high levels of calories, fat, sugar, salt and not enough fruit
and vegetables, oily fish and fibre. A healthy body needs to be maintained by
consuming fruit and vegetables as it supplies you with vitamins and minerals
you need, and makes up a third of the food we eat each day. It is advised you
should eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables everyday
(your 5 a day). Eating five portions a day will have a reduced risk have a
lower risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

There are
seven building blocks for a healthy diet these include carbohydrates, proteins,
fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre and water!

These seven
building blocks come into our diet everyday by eating the right foods. Carbohydrates
(starch) can be found in pasta, rice, bread. Proteins are found in meat and
fish, fats can be found in oils for example olive oil, dairy products, nuts and
fish. Healthy fats such as unsaturated are needed through diet but too much
saturated fat may result in heart disease. Vitamins and minerals are found in
your fresh fruit and vegetables and fish. Fibre has a vital part to play in our
diet as we need this for healthy digestion which can be found in fresh fruit,
vegetables and wholegrain cereals and the seventh being water, this is all you
need most of the time water from the tap. This helps prevent dehydration and
maintains your fluid levels.



The advice given
by the government is detailed throughout the Eat well guide. The eat well guide
is there to help people understand the importance of a balanced diet and what
is required to maintain good health and wellbeing. They show people what is
required on a day to day basis and what proportions of these foods are needed.
The eat well guide is there to advise everyone regardless of weight,
restrictions and even ethnic origin. The guide is there for people over 2years
of age as these children need different nutritional requirements. The eat well
guide is there to encourage healthy eating throughout the family and using this
booklet as a guide to prepare meals and even doing the weekly food shop. It
informs the different types of food and drink that should be consumed and what
proportions these should be. The proportions are put into five nutritional
categories they are advising it is important to base each meal on a
carbohydrate such as potatoes, pasta, bread and other starch filled
carbohydrates. Always trying to choose wholegrain or high in fibre alternatives
with less salt, sugar and fat. Eating as least 5 portions of fruit and
vegetables every day supplies the body with the required vitamins and minerals.
It’s important to include fat into your diet and where possible use unsaturated
fats such as oils, butters and spreads and to only consume a small amount of
saturated fat. Making sure dairy products are within your diet is important but
choosing the lower fat and lower sugar content is advised. Instead of going for
the full fat milk try the alternative which would be the semi-skimmed milk or
1% fat milk. Eating these supply the body with protein and also important
calcium for strong bones. Drinking plenty of fluids is very important
throughout the day to day diet, the recommended daily amount is 6-8glasses this
can be water, low fat milk, and even sugar free tea and coffee. Fruit juices
are also okay as long as you do not exceed the recommended amount of 150ml per

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pregnant it is very important to keep a balanced diet for you and your unborn
baby and doubly more important to obtain the necessary nutrients. The government
have the Start 4 life program in place supplying the expectant mothers and
their babies with Healthy start vouchers ensuring they get the right foods
throughout pregnancy and also if breastfeeding. The vouchers can be spend with
retailers and can be spent on cow’s milk, plain fresh or frozen fruit and
vegetables and formula milk if not breastfeeding. During pregnancy healthy eating is
so important to your baby’s growth and development. To make sure you get
the nutrients you both need you must eat from a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, breads, grains, protein and
dairy. It is advised to consume an extra 300 calories a day.


The seven
building blocks are vital in a balanced diet; we need all these factors within
our day to day living. Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, fibre
and water are all required.

are required to produce energy, 60% of our diet should contain carbohydrates. Carbohydrates
are an organic compound which is made up of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen; large
energy source that our body will tend to use first. Proteins helps to build and
repair muscles, we need 15% within our diet. Proteins are present every cell in
the body, proteins make up your nails and hair. Proteins within your body will
assist in repairing and building required tissue when needed. You need to
consume proteins within your diet so enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals
are produced. Proteins are the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage,
skin and the blood. Protein- known as macronutrient meaning the body needs
large amount to well and stay healthy, the body does not store protein so has
no stores to draw from when running low so having large amounts is required. A
great variety of food including meat, milk, fish and beans contain protein. When
the body digests the protein they then leave behind amino acids required by the
body. Proteins control many parts of the body including cells and organ,  do not come readymade they are taken from
foods in small molecules. Fats come in two types being Saturated and
unsaturated. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats; around 25% of our diet should
contain fat. Fats are a source of energy similar to carbohydrates although the
extra calories that are not required immediately will be stored for use later
in the adipose tissue. The body’s cells need to contain some fats as they are
required for healthy skin and tissues. Also they are essential parts of cell
membranes, controlling what enters and exits the cells and transporting
Vitamins A, D, E, and K through the bloodstream. Fats are the main type of
insulation for the body which in return keeps you body warm, fats are also
important in giving the cells structure. Unsaturated fats such as Omega 3 are
very important for the optimum nerve, brain and heart function.

Vitamins and
Minerals are needed in our body as they perform hundreds of roles, also known
as micronutrients the body only needs a small amount. They help heal wounds and
boost your immune system as well as help the body work and helps with
concentration. Vitamins are compounds needed in the body for the cells to function;
it is essential we give the nutrients needed in the body through diet. There
are 13 vitamins needed for body functions such as metabolism, building
bones, teeth, muscles, blood, and a number of tissues. Minerals are
inorganic substances which occur naturally in non-living things such as water
and soil. Strong bones, teeth, nerve function, muscle and metabolic processes
require minerals. For the body to work correctly minerals are needed for growth
and development and on the whole, for maintaining health. Fibre cannot be
digested it keeps your digestion healthy it also helps with weight control, fibre
taken through our diet are actually carbohydrates. These fibre are not
digested by enzymes in our small intestines therefore sugar units are not
absorbed into the bloodstream. Dietary fibre is therefore known as
non-glycaemic. Fibre also assists with the process through the large intestines
helping to reduce waste and unwanted toxins in the body. It also helps regulate
bowel action in return reduces cancer risks within the bowel.  Water is very important within the body and for
good health; water maintains fluid levels and energizes muscles. Water is
important for all the functions and processes within the body including
digestion and elimination. If cells are not are maintaining their balance of
fluids and the electrolytes shrivel this can result in muscle pain and fatigue,
when muscles do have adequate fluids, they appear to not work as well and their
performance can suffer. Dehydration is a common effect of not enough water
within the body, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating can cause dehydration.
If dehydration worsens the body may sweat less and excrete less urine. It is
recommended to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water. 


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