Nutrition

​Tips, advice and easy to follow recipes, updated monthly, along with loads of other fun and interesting foody facts.

Why is it important to eat healthily?

Eating well is essential for good health and wellbeing, and contributes to reducing the risk of conditions including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, some cancers and osteoporosis. When it comes to a healthy diet, balance is the key to getting it right.

This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

The eatwell guide

The eatwell guide shows the different types of food that make up our diet, and shows the proportions we should eat them in to have a healthy, balanced diet.

Be sure to follow the Wakefield Wellbeing Facebook page.

It’s all in the smile! Here’s how to look after your most attractive feature.

A healthy smile is your most attractive feature according to research by the Oral Health Foundation. Here’s some tips to keep you smiling. Foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals can help prevent gum disease.

Choosing foods from each of the colours on the eatwell guide  everyday is a good start. 

What is the best thing to eat to keep your teeth beautiful?

Calcium rich foods such as milk, cheese and unsweetened yoghurt are important to keep your teeth in good condition.

Eating these at the end of a meal also helps to lower acidity in your mouth which protects them from decay.

Regular meals or grazing?

Eating regular meals rather than grazing is best for your teeth. The more times your teeth have food or sugary drinks on them the more decay is possible.

Choose 3 meals a day with 1-2 low sugar snacks and 6-8 sugar free drinks for tooth-friendly eating.
Remember to brush twice a day, spit not rinse and visit your dentist regularly for full smile protection.

Tooth-friendly snacks ideas to get your teeth into.

These snacks are also under 100 calories so they are fine as part of a healthy diet for everyone with a good appetite. Tooth-friendly means low in sugar and a texture that doesn’t stick in your teeth for ages. Even savoury foods like crisps can be broken down into sugars as they start to be digested in your mouth when they are stuck in your teeth.

  • a banana
  • 2 satsumas
  • 1 tablespoon hummus and 12 carrot sticks
  • 2 mini Babybel Light
  • a handful of grapes
  • a hard- boiled egg,
  • a slice of toast with marmite
  • 15 olives
  • an apple
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese with 12 cucumber sticks
  • 2 kiwi
  • a pear
  • 12 unsalted peanuts
  • 2 plums.

Get chewing - find out how chewing protects your teeth.

Chewing sugar-free gum after eating or drinking can help protect your teeth and gums in between meals.

Did you know chewing gum for up to 10 minutes can remove 100 million bacteria in your saliva?
An easy way to clean your mouth and freshen your breath on-the-go.

Sweet tooth?

If you have a sweet tooth try to choose sugar free sweets and drinks that contain xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener that is extracted from plants and has 40% less calories than sugar. It has an added bonus of helping to protect teeth. It can be found in toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, peanut butter, sugar-free candy, sugar free breath mints, fruit drinks, jellies and jams.

Stevia is another sweetener that is natural and zero calories. It is recommended by DiabetesUK and marketed as Truvia.

Look out for flavoured drinks that use this sweetener rather than sugar or syrups.


Stress and caffeine

A stress response speeds up your heart rate, raises your blood pressure to get you ready to fight or take flight. Some foods can cause a similar response in your body and so make you feel stressed.

Long term this is not good for any of our bodies.

Coffee, energy drinks, strong tea and coke can contain a lot of caffeine which can do this to your body.

Caffeine can also disturb your sleep leaving you low in energy and mood.

Caffeine can affect your gut too, upsetting digestion, and may cause IBS type symptoms.

Caffeine can be addictive and leave you reliant on another caffeinated drink as a pick-me-up. 

What you think is helping you cope may be making you worse.

Check if you’re addicted: https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-addiction-diagnosis

Stopping your regular drinks suddenly can give you bad headaches so gradually swap coffee, strong tea, coke and energy drinks to healthier options.

Try decaffeinated tea and coffee, water, herbal and fruit tea. If you love your fizzy drinks opt for caffeine free low sugar versions.


Amazing Rhubarb - fruit or veg?

​It’s actually a vegetable with an edible stalk.
The redder the stalk the sweeter the taste.
It is a good source of fibre to help your gut work properly.
Rich in vitamin C so great for protecting your body’s cells and for healing.
Rhubarb used to be an important medicine in the 17th century and was more expensive than opium.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

​A dessert with some tang and crunch, plus packed with a third of your vitamin C for the day. Crunchy oats boost the fibre as a treat for your insides.

Recipe

Rhubarb and Strawberry Meringues

​Airy meringues are a healthier and gorgeous stand-in for whipped cream on these easy rhubarb desserts and keep them heart healthily low fat. Get over half of your vitamin C in one of these yummy meringues.

Recipe


Highly Hydrating Facts

  • We get 20% of the water we need from food You can survive weeks without food but only days without water
  • Fill your water bottle and take it with you
  •  Do your bit for our planet and choose a reusable bottle
  • The  Human body is nearly two thirds water
  • Drinking enough water each day can help reduce heart disease and cancer – water helps flush toxins out of the body
  • Adults need to drink at least 6-8 glasses of fluid per day
  •  Although water is the best source of fluid, milk, fruit juice, tea and coffee count
  • Drinking enough keeps you alert and able to concentrate so you are at your best
  • Cucumbers are 95% water – slice them up and chuck them on sandwiches, salads, or infuse them in water to stay hydrated!

More hydrating facts and tips

Make your own hydrating ice lollies

​Pick fruits that have high water content like these watermelon or strawberries.

More ideas


The good, the bad and the ugly - facts on fats

Research shows some types of fat and eating too much fat can lead to heart disease. Some fats are good for you and keep you and your heart healthy. It’s all about finding the balance.

Eat more of these [Good fats]

  • Use olive oil for cooking and dressings
  • Eat mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout, fresh tuna once a week
  • Add a handful of walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin or flax seeds to your morning bowl of cereal or to replace a less healthy snack

Eat less of these [Bad fats]

See if there’s any you can swap them for from the list above, or have them less often.

  • butter, ghee, suet, lard, coconut oil and palm oil 
  • cakes  and biscuits
  • fatty cuts of meat
  • sausages and burgers
  • bacon, salami, chorizo and pancetta
  • cheese
  • pastries, like pies, quiches, sausage rolls and croissants
  • cream, crème fraîche and sour cream
  • ice cream
  • coconut milk
  • milk shakes
  • chocolate and chocolate spreads

Salivating Salmon

Salmon with spring onion mash

Delicious, and a winner with the family. Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fats, good for you heart and cholesterol.

Recipe

Family Fishcakes

​Easy to make fishcakes.

Get the kids involved.

Mackerel contains vitamin D which is good for our bones.

Recipe

Mighty Meaty

​Research shows red meat: beef, pork and lamb are linked to heart disease as they are high in saturated fat.

A quarter of the bad fats we eat come from meat or meat products.

The benefits of red meat

Iron and vitamin B12 to keep nerve and red blood cells healthy. Zinc for the immune system and protein which helps build bones and muscles.

  • Choose leaner meat such as 5% mince, trim visible fat
  • Opt for lower fat burgers and sausages
  • Bacon, ham, chorizo and pancetta are cured so eat occasionally

[Recommended intake - Men 2 palm sized pieces / Women 1 palm sized piece for a main meal]

Super stew and dumplings

Traditional and tasty - who knew this could be good for you!

A good source or iron, with vitamin C in the mash to help your body absorb the iron better.

Recipe

Sausage and mash with a twist.

Lean beef is a good source of zinc to keep up your immunity and fight off winter germs.

Recipe