General Guidelines for Healthy Eating


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The upcoming summer may have made you wonder if you have looked after your body during the winter. If you feel this way, you should get back into your healthy eating habits.

It is important to adopt healthy eating habits in order to:
  • maintain an ideal body weight.
  • live a healthy life.
  • minimize the risk of developing chronic diseases of lifestyle such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

What to Eat:
    1. 1. Have at least 3 meals a day, which include a variety of food.
    1. 2. Never skip meals
    1. 3. Drink at least 6 – 8 glasses of water a day
    1. 4. Eat fats sparingly. Avoid saturated and trans fatty acids such as fatty meat, chocolate, cream, coconut, hard margarine, full cream dairy products, fried and fatty foods, commercially baked goods as well as coffee creamers.
    1. 5. Limit the intake of animal products. Keep meat portions small (the size of your palm), rather full up your plate with more fruit and vegetables.
    1. 6. Eat fish 2 – 3 times a week if possible (preferably dark oily fish).
    1. 7. Eat leaner meat more often than red meat such as chicken/ostrich Soya products may be used often too.
    1. 8. Eat foods rich in fiber: eat a high fiber breakfast cereal or oats porridge daily. Replace white bread with brown or whole-wheat bread. Where possible eat brown rice and whole-wheat pasta instead of the white refined options.
    1. 9. Eat at least 4 – 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily. Where possible include 1 good source of Vitamin C (tomatoes, cabbage family, citrus fruit and guavas). 1 dark green vegetable (broccoli, spinach, green beans, baby marrow) or 1 dark yellow/orange vegetable (carrots, pumpkin or butternut).
    1. 10. Use low fat methods of cooking. DO NOT FRY FOOD! Healthy cooking methods include: boiling, steaming, microwaving, poaching, grilling and baking. Limit the addition of any form of fat whilst preparing food: margarine, oil, mayonnaise, cream or cheese.
    1. 11. Use salt sparingly. A high salt intake contributes to hypertension. Instead of using salt during preparation, rather use herbs and salt free spices. Avoid the use of extra salt at the table.
    1. 12. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. An excess of alcohol can lead to an increase in body weight and the development of obesity.

strong>Ps:Smoking of any kind is unhealthy and may lead to the development of certain cancers. Stop smoking if you are a smoker and don’t forget to exercise regularly.

By Melissa Pyle, BSc. in Dietetics, Registered Dietician (SA)

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