We have all tried diets at one time or another and more often than not we have strayed from them within the first few weeks. New fads and crazes come and go, are hailed as the future and then quickly cast asunder as the negative effects become widespread knowledge.

We cut out junk foods, we only eat certain foods we have cereal for two of our three meals a day and end up craving just about any other food we set eyes on. We buy specific diet products and packaged meals and foods that have only half the calories but cost twice the price.

So what’s the solution?

Eating healthily and following a balanced diet can really help us to live life to the full without the upheaval of starting or continuing diets that help us lose weight in the short term but invariably put it back on as we move back into our old eating habits.

The amount of and type of food you eat can have a major impact on your health, and the body needs a range of nutrients to help it to work to its optimum level.

With scores of evidence showing that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of a variety of illnesses including obesity, diabetes, strokes, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer it is really important to eat a wide variety of food in the right quantities. This can be achieved by eating foods from the 5 main food groups. These are:

• Fruit and vegetables

• Dairy

• Protein

• Fats and sugars

• Starchy foods


It is important to eat foods from each of these food groups as it enables vital processes in the body to occur. Each of the food groups can help the body in different ways and some of these benefits are displayed below:

Fruit and vegetables are a vital source of vitamins and minerals that have a variety of functions. For example iron is needed to transport oxygen in the blood and vitamin C is important for healing wounds.

Dairy foods are a good source of protein and also provide calcium which keeps bones healthy. They are sometimes high in saturated fat but this is ok in moderation.

Protein is found in meat, fish, eggs and beans. It provides the body with a source of energy and is essential in helping the growth and repair of body tissues.

Fats and sugars are found in cakes, butter, crisps and mayonnaise amongst others. It is good in small amounts and certain types are better than others, Omega 3 being a prime example.

Starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta, bread and cereals are very important to a healthy diet. They contain fibre, vitamins and minerals and are the main source of energy for our bodies. Brown varieties of rice, pasta and bread are particularly good for you and contain higher levels of fibre, vitamins and minerals than the white varieties.

Now you know the facts about food groups you can start to make a change in your eating habits. So ditch the diet, eat healthily all the time, exercise regularly at your local health club and gym and your body will definitely benefit.
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