- Meet the requirement for energy and all essential nutrients
- Reduce the intake of fat - especially saturated fat
- Increase the intake of non-starch polysaccharide (dietary fibre)
- Reduce the intake of sugar
- Reduce the intake of salt
- Avoid excessive intake of alcohol
- Maintain ideal body weight
Dietary Changes to Help Achieve Current Guidelines for Fat Intake
- Reduce the intake of butter and margarine or replace with a low fat spread. Both margarine and butter have exactly the same fat content. Using a margarine that is high in polyunsaturates will reduce the intake of saturated fat, but not of total fat. Low fat spreads contain half the fat of margarine and butter.
- Reduce the intake of fried foods. Choose an oil low in saturated fat, such as sunflower, corn, olive or soya.
- Limit the intake of chocolate, cakes, biscuits, crisps and pastries as much as possible.
- Reduce the consumption of fatty meat and avoid sausages, bacon, beef burgers and meat pies as much as possible. Always choose the leanest cuts of meat and trim of excess fats. Poultry may be substituted for meat but the skin should be removed - chicken with the skin contains about twice as much fat on a g/100, basis as lean roast lamb or pork.
- Increase the intake of white fish. White fish has a negligible fat content unless it is fried in breadcrumbs. Fatty fish such as mackerel, herring and sardine contains as much fat as red meat, but is rich in the n-3 polyunsaturates and can be recommended as a replacement for meat.
- Use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk as a matter of course. These both contain the same amount of protein and calcium as whole milk.
- Reduce intake of hard cheese. Edam, Brie, Camembert and Feta cheese contain less fat than hard cheeses, such as Cheshire and Cheddar. Reduced-fat varieties of both hard and soft cheese are now available and contain about half the fat of the normal varieties. Cottage cheese and "fromage frais" are much lower in fat than hard cheeses.
- Cream, or products containing it, should only be consumed very occasionally. Avoid double cream as much as possible. Imitation creams often contain as much fat as fresh creams. Yoghurt may be used as an alternative.
Dietary Change to Help Achieve the Recommended Requirements of Non-Starch Polysaccharide (NSP or Dietary Fibre)
- Change to a breakfast cereal high in NSP. They are usually labelled "high fibre" but the content of NSP should always be checked on the package label.
- Change to a wholegrain bread. There are wholemeal varieties of chapatti, nan and pitta bread.
- Use wholemeal flour in baking or half white and half wholemeal flour.
- Eat wholemeal rather than white pasta. Try to eat pasta, rice or potatoes once a day.
- Eat peas, beans or lentils at least three times a week. Pulses can be used as occasional replacements for meat.Eat at least five servings of fresh vegetables and fruit everyday.
6 Ways to Cut-Down Your Sugar
- Avoid adding sugar to drinks and breakfast cereals.
- Choose low calorie canned drinks.
- Choose tinned fruit in juice rather than syrup.
- Reduce the amount of sugar in recipes where possible.
- Avoid sugar coated breakfast cereals - check labels for sugar content.
- Reduce the intake of sweets, chocolates, cakes and sweet biscuits as much as possible.