Health Lifestyle Advice
Eating a healthy diet
- Take at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
- The bulk of most meals should be starch based foods plus fruit and vegetables (cereals, wholegrain bread, potatoes, rice, pasta)
- Reduce the amount of fatty foods – fatty meats, cheeses, full cream milk, fried food, butter etc
- Use low fat, mono or poly unsaturated spreads, include 2-3 portions of fish a week one of which should be an oil fish (herring/ mackerel/sardines/kippers/pilchards/salmon /fresh tuna)
- If you do fry use a vegetable oil such as sunflower, rapeseed or olive oil
On average, adults in the UK eat about 8.1g of slat (3.2g sodium) a day. This may not sound like much, but to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, it is recommended that adults should not be eating more than 6g of slat (2.4g sodium) a day.
Salt intakes should be much lower than this for babies and children. Babies under 12 months old should have less than 1g of salt a day. The daily recommended maximum amount of salt children should eat depends on their age.
1 to 3 years – 2g of salt a day (0.8g sodium)
4 to 6 years – 3g of salt a day (1.2g sodium)
7 to 10 years – 5g of salt a day (2g sodium)
11 years and over – 6g of salt a day (2.4g sodium)
If able, aim to do 60-90 minutes physical activity on 5 days per week. For example brisk walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, walk to work and takes the stair.
Aim to lose 0.5-1kg per week Aim for normal balanced healthy diet
Drink plenty of water
Reduce your alcohol intake
How can I stop smoking?
About 2 in 3 smokers want to stop smoking. Some people can give up easily. Willpower and determination are the most important aspects when giving up smoking. However, nicotine is a drug of addiction and many people find giving up a struggle. Help is available.
Stop smoking – Benefit of quit smoking
72 hours Your breathing is easier, You have more energy.
2 – 12 weeks Circulation is now improved throughout your body. It’s easier for you to walk and exercise now.
3 – 9 months Your lung efficiency is up 5-10 per cent. Breathing problems are fading away. Say goodbye to coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing.
5 years You now have only half the chance of getting a heart attack compared to a smoker.
10 years The chance of you getting lung cancer is now half that of a smoker. Your chance of having a heart attack are now the same as someone who’s never smoked.
Take some exercise – at least 30 minutes moderate exercise on at least 5 days per week. This does not have to be done all at once either.
Lose weight – most risk of heart disease if the excess fat is mainly in the abdomen rather than the hips and thighs. By losing weight you are reducing the risk of developing heart disease.
Eat a more healthy diet –
Take at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
The bulk of most meals should be starch based foods plus fruit and vegetables (cereals, wholegrain bread, potatoes, rice, pasta)
Reduce the amount of fatty foods – fatty meats, cheeses, full cream milk, fried food, butter etc.
Use low fat, mono or poly unsaturated spreads, include 2-3 portions of fish a week one of which should be an oil fish (herring/ mackerel/ sardines/kippers/ pilchards /salmon /fresh tuna)
Meat should be lean, or eat chicken
Avoid salty foods and do not add salt to food
If you do fry use a vegetable oil such as sunflower, rapeseed or olive oil
Reduce alcohol consumption – recommended levels for men, no more than 21 units per week and no more than 4 units in any one day. For women, nor more than 14 units per week or no more that 3 units in any one day
Healthy Lifestyle Advice – Diabetes
What can you do?
You do not need to eat special diabetic foods.
Food intake should be evenly distributed through the day and should remain reasonably consistent from day to day.
Eat a healthy balanced diet –
Make your weekly shop healthier
1. NHS Choices has developed a Health Checker with mySupermarket.co.uk, which makes it easier to make healthier choices. Use it to cut the calories, salt, fat, sat ft and sugar in your trolley, and boost your 5 A DAY.
You can use the tool on mySupermarket.co.uk, a free and independent price-comparison website.
Key benefits of the Health Checker include:
It’s easy: as you shop the tool clearly shows how much salt, sugar, sat fat and fat could be cut from your trolley.
It offers swaps: the tools identifies the foods that are highest in calories, fat, sat fat, salt and sugar and provides a healthier choice so making a swap is simple.
It counts your 5 A DAY: as well as a 5 A DAY counter, the tool indicates a 5 A DAY area making it quick to add protions.
Do some physical activity –a minimum of 30 mins brisk walking at least 5 times a week is advised. Ideally you should do anything that gets you mildly out of breath or sweaty – swimming, cycling, jogging, dancing…Lose weight if you are overweight – this will help reduce you blood glucose levels as well as other health benefits. Reduce your calorie intake.
Alcohol – in a day a maximum of 3 units for males and 2 units for females. Food should accompany or follow soon after taking alcohol. It can cause
hypoglycaemia several hours after taking.
Avoid low sugar beers and lagers as these often have a high alcohol content.
Healthy Lifestyle Advice – Giving up smoking
GPs, practice nurses, or pharmacists can provide help, information, encouragement, and tips on stopping smoking. Also, many parts of the country now have specialist NHS ‘Stop Smoking Clinics’ which have a good success in helping people to stop smoking. Your doctor may refer you to one if you are keen to stop smoking but are finding it difficult to do so.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can help if withdrawal symptoms are troublesome. Nicotine gum, sprays, patches, tablets, lozenges, and inhalers are available. Using one of these roughly doubles your chance of stopping smoking if you really want to stop. A pharmacist, GP, practice nurse, or Stop Smoking Clinic can advise about NRT.
A medicine called champix is another option. It also roughly doubles your chance of stopping smoking if you really want to stop. It helps to reduce the craving of smoking. It may be advised by a GP or Stop Smoking Clinic if you are determined to stop smoking, but are finding it difficult.
Further help and information
NHS smoking helpline:
Tel: 0800 169 0169
NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline
Tel: 0800 169 9169
Lines are open daily from 12 noon – 9 pm. Services include support and advice from a trained adviser who understands the different issues pregnancy brings. They also have a call-back service to give you ongoing support throughout pregnancy.