It is important to enjoy the food you eat. And eating in a healthier way may even be cheaper! Some traditional beliefs of what makes up a healthy diet may be really good, such as eating home-preserved vegetables, but other traditional beliefs are disease-promoting, e.g. eating large quantities of fatty meat daily.
Recent evidence has shown that eating too much meat with animal fat is risky to our health. Only very small amounts of lean meat are needed – and not every day. In fact, the less meat and animal fat we eat the better!
VEGETABLES AND FRUIT
Vegetables are the main source of minerals and vitamins in our diet. Many of us do not eat enough of either. Some vegetables traditionally grown in your areas may be available all the year round. Try to eat what is in season and add beans and lentils which are excellent sources of minerals.
Eat MORE IRON-containing food such as green vegetables. Locally produced vegetables are usually the cheapest and the most full of flavour and nutrients because they are fresh. Even better is growing your own vegetables and using them directly from the garden. Fruit is also a good source of minerals and vitamins. Try to eat seasonal fruit and preserve as many of the wild or garden fruits as you can by freezing, canning or drying them. EAT MORE THAN 5 PORTIONS OF VEGETABLES AND FRUIT EVERY DAY (more than 400g daily).
MEAT, FISH AND PULSES
Eating too much animal fat is a main cause of ill health. Our bodies need very little but most of us eat too much. You may have heard of SATURATED FATS. These are found mainly in the meat of cows, pigs and sheep and in products which include their meat and fat, such as sausages, meat pies and beef burgers. Eating too much saturated fat can lead to coronary heart disease and being overweight.
UNSATURATED FATS, however, are found in oily fish, chicken, eggs, turkey, duck, beans and lentils and foods made from these. Unsaturated fat may be better for you, but eating TOO MUCH FAT of any type can increase your weight. It is better to buy a small amount of lean meat rather than fatty meat or solid fat.
It is even better to EAT MORE FISH of all kinds. And don’t forget to increase your IRON intake by eating liver. Traditional meals using peas, beans and lentils provide good nourishment. Remember to cut down on any animal fat used in cooking, e.g. in soups do not add fat and do not fry food for. Where FAT is involved, LESS IS BEST.