NHS healthy diet
As a nation we are consuming more than 200-300kcal more than we need daily and we know excess calories lead to weight gain. Aiming for the 400-600-600 meal options will allow you to make more conscious food choices, read food labelling, control your calorie intake and improve your diet.
A calorie (kcal) is a unit that measures energy. It’s a way of describing how much energy your body can get from eating and drinking. In order to lose weight you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns each day. To maintain or reduce your weight we need to expend our energy through exercise and eat a balanced diet that is not too high in saturated fat, sugar and salt.
Your body needs calories to function and all foods and drinks contain calories. The problem is that it is very easy to consume more calories than we need and not burn them. This can have desired effects on our health such as weight gain which can cause lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Foods that are high in sugar, salt and saturated fat such as cakes, biscuits, chocolates, pizza, fast foods and fizzy drinks contain a high amount of calories and are known as energy dense foods and when consumed in excess your body will store the extra energy as fat.
Every gram of fat is equivalent to 9kcal, every gram of carbohydrate and protein is equivalent to 4kcal. Our daily energy needs for females is 2000kcal and for men it is 2500kcal.
Fast foods and ready meals and some shop brought lunches such as sandwiches and pasties can contain more than 600kcal and in one sitting it is easy to go over our calorie requirements for the day.
Mcdonalds breakfast wrap-605kcal
Café Nero hot chocolate with cream-388kcal
Lunch-Mcdonalds hamburger, fries and coke- 757kcal
Snack-Starbucks blueberry muffin-472kcal
Dinner-Morrisons ready meal chicken curry and rice-476kcal
Drink-Can of coke-139kcal
Total calories in a day=2837kcal
Calorie intake exceeds campaign guidelines and our daily intake for men and women
Breakfast-Porridge with fresh fruit-236kcal
Lunch-mixed bean pasta salad-265kcal
Snack-cheese and crackers-190kcal
Dinner- thai green vegetable chicken curry and rice-400kcal
Fruit portion banana-62kcal
Snack- small bag of nuts-259kcal
Total calories in a day=1412kcal
Calorie intake meets the campaign guidelines and our daily intake for men and women
By making wiser choices and small changes by far you can improve your diet!
And don’t forget to exercise which can prevent you from developing lifestyle diseases and help you lose weight and feel good. Find lots of ways to get active on our Be Active page.
If you need support in improving your lifestyle contact the One You Merton team where one of our health advisors will help you to set goals towards a healthier you – call us on 020 8973 3545
For more information on eating well visit our Eat Well page.
Children’s Healthy Weight Advisor