Healthy Eating – What Makes a Healthy Meal?

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Eating a balanced diet can help keep your heart healthy. Healthy eating is about enjoying foods from a variety of different food groups. This is the fundamental principle of good nutrition. It’s all about balance.

A sensible healthy meal should include the following:

1. Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs or vegetarian meat alternative such as legumes, beans, lentils or nuts.
2. Pasta, rice, noodles, couscous, potato or bread.
3. Plenty of vegetables and salad.

As a general guide, aim for half your dinner plate to be vegetables, a quarter of the plate to be either rice, pasta, noodles, potato or bread and the other quarter of the plate lean meat or vegetarian meat alternative. Have a side salad. Experiment with lower fat cooking methods such as grilling, poaching, steaming or using the microwave.

Try and base your eating pattern on the following healthy eating guidelines to improve your heart health.

More of this for Healthy Eating:

1. Good Fats : Margarine spreads and vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive and peanut oil for spreading, cooking, frying and baking, salad dressings and mayonnaise.
2. Low fat dairy : Skim, low or reduced fat versions of milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream.
3. Lean meat : Red or white meat trimmed off fat, chicken/turkey without skin.
4. Take away : Asian take away (e.g. rice and veggies), Pasta take away with vegetable sauces, Sushi, Salad sandwiches.
5. Snacks : Plain, unsalted nuts, air-popped popcorn, fresh or dried fruit, raw veggies.
6. Drinks : Water, unsweetened tea, diluted fruit juice.

Less of this for Healthy Eating:

1. Bad Fats : Butter and dairy blends, coconut oil and palm oil.
2. Full fat dairy : cream, full fat cheese, full fat milk, full fat ice cream.
3. Fatty meats : Sausages, delicatessen meats such as salami, cholesterol rich meats such as offal (e.g. liver, kidney etc).
4. Fatty take away : Pizzas, Hamburgers, Creamy pasta dishes, French fries and fried meat etc.
5. Less healthy snacks : Biscuits, chocolates, cakes, pastries, chips, sugary foods such as lollies etc.
6. Less healthy drinks : Soft drinks, energy drinks.

A more balanced diet for Healthy Eating:

1. Plant sterols – 2 grams per day
For people looking to lower cholesterol absorption.
2. Oily Fish – twice a week
Salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna and sardines.
3. Wholegrains – to every meal
Grain based foods such as cereals, oats, bread, pasta, noodles, and rice Prefer wholegrain variants and brown rice.
4. Legumes – as alternative to meat
Peas, beans and lentils, dried, canned or fresh.
5. Fruits and Vegetables – plenty
5 Serves of vegetables (in every meal) and at least 2 pieces of fruit per day, choose as colourful as possible.
6. Salt and alcohol in moderation
Alcohol: max. 2 units per day for men, 1 unit per day for women Salt: Use herbs, spices and pepper instead to flavour foods