Wellbeing | how to eat better

Tuesday 20 June 2017

There is one thing about health and nutrition that is definitely true… it is confusing.

We get fed so much information - good and bad - and if you are trying your best to stay healthy and manage your weight then it is often very difficult to know where to start.

Are carbs good or bad? Should you have high fat or low fat? How much protein? And that’s without even thinking about how often you should eat, and entering into the world of hidden sugars!

These four simple rules should help you get the basics:

Rule 1: eat everything as close to its natural form as possible

If it is in a tin, packet or box, someone has probably done something to it. Nature doesn’t put, or need, labels on things because as a general rule, everything we eat as close to its natural form is full of goodness.

Rule 2: if it is grown from the ground you can (probably) eat it

Simple enough really. Fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and pulses are all good for you. So are wholegrain wheat products like wholemeal bread and pasta. That said, it’s not really a good idea to start picking questionable berries or mushrooms when out walking…

Rule 3: if it has had a face (or potential to have a face) you can eat it

Meat, fish, eggs, preferably free range, is all on the list. Just consider rule one while you’re there - chicken nuggets don’t count as being good for you.

Rule 4: would your grandparents recognise it as food?

Our grandparents come from an era before mass processing where everything was fresh, wholesome and homemade. There was no fast food, and the only takeaway was fish and chips. Basically, if our grandparents would eat it then it’s normally good stuff... but if in doubt, refer to rule one.

If you're on a budget and the thought of visiting the supermarket sends you reaching for the calculator, don't panic! You may or may not have heard, but some supermarkets have a "wonky" fruit or veg selection which is a much cheaper alternative. Forget perfectly straight carrots, or spherically satisfying apples, save yourself some cash with a bag of wonky fruit or veg.

Over the next few months we’ll be sharing some of Team H4H’s favourite healthy and delicious recipes to help you be your best, by eating well.

Keep an eye on the Wellbeing section of our website and the Help for Heroes social media pages for some nutritious ideas you can try at home!

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