Eating some of everything is a good start to having a healthy diet. Usually we refer to a triangle or pyramid shape when considering the amount of food we eat, but eating a variety of foods each day, in the right amount is a great place to start.
A portion for any person is about the size of the palm of that person’s hand.
Aim to eat six portions of bread, cereals, pasta, rice, taro or potato each day.
Fruit and vegetables should also form a major part of your diet – about five daily servings. Remember that fruit juice needs to be related back to the actual fruit, thus a glass of orange juice may be the equivalent of three or more oranges.
Try to have about two servings of dairy products daily, and pick reduced fat options if available.
High protein foods such as meat, beans, nuts and eggs should be limited to one serving each day, and as with dairy products, try to use lean options, cut fat and skin from meat before cooking, or skim fat off after cooking if possible.
Fats and oils should be limited to about one or two tablespoonsful each day, this includes spreads and those oils used in cooking and as sauces and dressings.
Sugary and salty foods should be considered as treats, to be consumed in moderation. Alcohol should also only be consumed occasionally, as it has no nutritional value, and may be considered empty calories.
Try to eat what foods are in season, especially with respect to fruit and vegetables. This will ensure you are getting balance in your diet as well as value for your money.
Most people that do not have a medical condition, are pregnant or breastfeeding do not need vitamin or mineral supplementation in order to stay healthy. If you feel you may need to ‘top up’ your diet then talk to your community pharmacist, as they will be able to advise you if you have any needs that may not be met by a normal diet; and refer you to a doctor or dietician if required.
The way you look and feel is related to what you put into your life, so don’t give yourself a hard time if you slip up occasionally.
However if you have concerns that your diet may not be right for you then get some help and advice from your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist has a wealth of knowledge they are happy to share with you.