Planning a Healthy Weekly Diet

FishesThere is a widespread myth that adherence to a weekly diet is a restrictive, complicated and time-consuming process. In reality, by simply following some basic guidelines everyone is able to fully enjoy the positive health benefits associated with such a plan. Better still, it is both interesting and pleasurable.

Food: some essential facts

Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial and this is achieved by learning about the five main food groups such as:
– fruit and vegetables
– starchy foods
– meat, fish, eggs & beans
– Milk/ dairy produce
– Foodstuffs with fat and/ or sugar content.

It’s quite smart to be informed about the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamins (the six main ones are A,B,C,D,K,E) and minerals (calcium, potassium, sodium & chloride). A weekly diet should contain a healthy intake of calories, fibre and nutrients from the five food groups.
Starchy food (e.g. bread, potatoes, pasta & rice) have high carbohydrate content and are the main source of energy. Opt for wholegrain bread – the healthier option and fibre-rich.
Lean meat is preferable to processed meat. Choose chicken and fish over meat with a high fat content (e.g. burgers) Use the grill/ oven instead of a frying pan.
Use low-fat dairy products (high in protein only without the added fat content).
The famous ‘five-a-day’ mantra for fruit and vegetables is self-explanatory, although it is useful to know that a healthy consumption of greens, yellows and reds from this particular food group ensures you are getting all of the major vitamins.
Avoid food which has high concentrations of salt, sugar and fat (e.g. biscuits, cakes and sweets).
(Tip: When shopping get into the habit of referring to ‘Ingredients’ labels on each product and use this information as a statistical guide for planning your seven day schedule).

The benefits are limitless

Consider what is to be gained from your plan, including: an increase in overall life expectancy; improvement of skin complexion, muscles and body; strengthening of immune system, less prone to illness; increased confidence; combats depression; improves sleep/ mood; positive influence on others within society; educational benefits; social aspect – meet new friends through your shared lifestyle. Such facts represent a strong argument for change.

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