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Healthy Eating Tips You need to eat a variety of foods that give you the nutrients your body needs. What you eat If you eat a lot of fried foods and other foods high in fat (saturated fat), sugars and salt, plus an extra helping of dessert, your diet is probably not balanced. These foods should only be eaten rarely and in small amounts and should be balanced with other more nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables, fish, pasta and dairy products. Where you eat If you eat in places such as your room or in front of the TV, you may want to change that habit. By eating at a table, you can pay more attention to what you are eating so that you do not overeat. If you want to snack while watching TV, take a small amount of food with you- such as a handful of nuts, or a fruit or yoghurt. Why you eat Most people eat because they are hungry, or because it is the time of day to eat, the food looks tempting or because everyone is eating. Boredom, frustration, nervousness or sadness, are also reasons why people eat. The best reason to eat is because your body tells you that you are hungry. If you are eating when you are not hungry, try doing something else to get food out off your mind. Call a friend, exercise, read, listen to music, or work on a craft. These activities can help you to cut back on eating when you are feeling bored, upset or stressed. Healthy eating The Mediterranean diet has become very popular and trendy. The Mediterranean diet consists of high consumption of legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables. Moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products but low consumption of meat and meat products. Also the Mediterranean diet is famous for using olive oil instead of other fats. The Mediterranean diet’s typical dessert is fruit. Olive oil is used as the main fat, as it is high in monounsaturated fats that protect the body’s circulation. Be careful when using olive oil as it is still a fat and provides many calories. Generally, the Mediterranean diet is low in fat, especially saturated fat, and high in vitamins and minerals from plant foods, making it a good choice. For a healthy Mediterranean diet, base what you eat on foods from plant sources (bread, pasta, rice, cereals, fruits, vegetables, and legumes) and eat less of the foods from the animal sources (red meat, processed meat and diary products). Eat daily from the first 4 food groups: 1. Breads, Cereals, Rice, Pasta and Potatoes Enjoy plenty of these foods as they are rich in carbohydrates which are our main source of energy. Nearly half the calories in your diet should come from theses foods. You should eat at least 6 servings of your food daily. A serving is 1 slice of bread, 3 medium-sized potatoes, 30g breakfast cereal (low in sugar and salt and high in fibre) or 100g of cooked rice or pasta. Try wholemeal bread, pasta and rice to increase your fibre intake. Go easy on high fat spreads like margarine and butter. Try tomato sauces which are lower in calories than cream sauces. 2. Fruits and Vegetables Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre and antioxidant vitamins and minerals (protect the arteries and veins). Eating lots of fruits and vegetables improves Vitamin C intake in your diet and may help you reduce cancer risk. Also fruit and vegetables taste good and are the original fast and easy food. Eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. A serving of fruit is one fresh fruit or ½ a cup of chopped or cooked fruit, or a glass of fruit juice. A serving of vegetables is 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables or ½ cup of other cooked or raw vegetables. One portion of fruit and vegetables is approximately 80g. 3. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts These foods provide protein which are the building blocks of life. Try and eat protein food twice a day during your meals. Choose 100g of lean red meat, poultry, rabbit or fish, or 100g of cooked dry beans. Limit your intake of red meat (e.g. beef). Dry beans and peas are also high in protein and low in fat. Try to eat fish at least twice a week as it is important for your physical and intellectual development. You can choose fresh, frozen or canned fish. 4. Milk, Yoghurt and Cheese Foods from this group contain calcium which is very important for healthy bones and teeth. Do not miss out on these foods because you think they are fattening or do not taste good. Go for a glass of skimmed milk for breakfast or before you go to bed. Try different varieties of low-fat fruit yoghurts, as well as low fat cheese such as Edam cheese, cheeselets, ricotta, and light cheese spread. As a young person you need about 3 servings of dairy products daily. This would mean one glass of skimmed mils, one carton of yoghurt and a portion of low-fat cheese (e.g. 45g Edam cheese). 5. Fats, Oils and Sweets These should be eaten only sparingly. One needs to have these in small amounts and preferably not everyday.