The benefits of healthy living

The NHS has long been associated with healthy living campaigns. The benefits of these lifestyle choices for those who make them lie, above all, in lessening the mortality rate from coronary heart disease and many other problems. But much more needs to be done, especially in reducing the increasing number of people contracting diabetes, in diminishing the number suffering strokes, and in the early diagnosis of prostate and bowel cancer.

The challenge of the growing problem of obesity, and in particular its effects on children and young people is also addressed.

What do you qualify as healthy eating?

 Eating healthily is not hard to do and the benefits are well worth the effort. By maintaining a healthy weight, you could help prevent certain health problems, but also improve your well-being. It can also reduce your risk of developing illness and serious disease.

Balance of foods

For children, the right balance of foods will give them all the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.

It also helps to educate them to eat healthily and can reduce the risk of serious diseases later in life.

What is a healthy diet?

A healthy diet contains:

  • plenty of starchy foods like bread, rice, pasta, breakfast cereals, potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes – look for higher fibre versions where possible (like wholemeal bread or pasta)
  • at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables daily
  • moderate amounts of dairy products (or alternatives) – look for low fat versions where possible
  • moderate amount of meat, fish or alternatives like eggs, beans, peas and lentils – look for lower fat versions where possible
  • the occasional treat (foods that are higher in fat, salt or added sugar should only be eaten in moderation)
  • little salt – always read the label