A good diet is essential to overall good health and avoiding certain foods and drinks may help prolong your life. Eating too much high-calorie food rich in simple carbohydrates (sugars) or fat could lead to weight gain or obesity.

The key to maintaining a good diet is to have a balanced diet. A balanced diet requires moderation. Some foods are known to be particularly bad for you and they should be avoided or eaten in moderation. Eating food with high fat content can raise the level of your 'bad' cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. Foods such as fast food, cakes, biscuits and margarine should be eaten in moderation. 

Reducing salt intake is also important to keep your heart healthy, as eating too much salt could lead to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart failure, stroke and other complications. You can reduce your salt intake by checking food packaging, which will give you an indication of how much salt is in that particular item. If the item already has a high salt content there is no need to add salt yourself.

Drinking too much alcohol can also have damaging effects on your health; not only can it leave us with a hangover the next day, but drinking more than the recommended intake on a regular basis can cause long-term damage to the body's internal organs. Regularly drinking more alcohol than the recommended limit can lead to liver disease.

Smoking increases your risk of more than 50 serious health conditions. It causes about 90% of lung cancers; it can damage your heart, your blood circulation and worsen any respiratory/breathing conditions. Smoking can also affect fertility and if you smoke whilst pregnant it can affect the unborn baby’s development. 

More information can be found on the stop smoking website.

 

Watch Your Weight

Weight gain is caused by regularly taking in more calories then you use up.  Fast foods, high calorie snacks and large portions mean most of us have access to more food than we really need.  At the same time, today's way of life is much less physically active than it used to be, so it can be very easy to eat more calories than you actaully burn off, leading to the excess being stored as fat - do this regularly and you will eventually become over-weight and obese.

Obesity is when a person's body mass index (BMI) is 30 or above, meaning they are carrying too much fat for their sex and height.  (To work out your BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared).

Moderate exercise and changes to your diet are recommended if you want to loose weight, and reduce your risk of illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

If you would like to know more about 'Healthy Eating':

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