Page 2 - DietaryPlan03
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•  Reduce stress in your life. It’s increasingly accepted that stress is linked with poor physical
                       and mental health. Whilst some stress is good, excessive and prolonged stress is bad. It’s not
                       possible to completely eliminate stress but there are simple things we can do to help reduce
                       and manage it:
                          o  Aim to do at least one bit of exercise each day, however small it is, even just lifting
                              legs or arms from a sitting position or going for a short walk. The ‘doing’ of exercise
                              is hugely rewarding, both mentally and physically. Set exercise targets for yourself -
                              try to improve on them over time.
                          o  If your job is stressful but you can’t change it, aim to take a proper break each day,
                              do not work when you don’t have to – use that time to relax, do something else.
                          o  Do something that takes your mind off daily life, for example reading a good book,
                              watching a film, making something, cooking healthy meals or gardening.
                          o  Do what you can to smile as often as possible - have a joke and a laugh with
                              someone at every opportunity. Laughing is a tonic for the mind.
                   •  Be kind to others. It’s not hard. Listen, be considerate, have empathy for other people’s
                       views, beliefs and feelings. Small acts of kindness go a very long way. Being kind to others
                       makes us feel better too.
                   •  And finally, think of your diet as part of your lifestyle. A healthy diet undoubtedly improves
                       physical and mental wellbeing and is relatively easy to do. It becomes a natural and
                       rewarding part of a fuller lifestyle. If you are interested in this, please read on.

               Why a healthier diet

               Driven by convenience we rarely cook every meal from scratch, trusting ingredients within
               pre-prepared shopping we routinely buy. Supermarkets and the food industry more or less dictate to
               many of us what we eat. Yes, there’s lots of choices on the shelves, aren’t we lucky about that, but
               so much of the food on offer is incredibly ‘processed’ and contrived to prolong shelf-life and
               marketability, all geared towards our convenience and their profitability.

               Unfortunately, processed and fast food have become the norm, but there are green shoots of a
               revival if not a rebellion on the horizon, the tide is definitely turning. We are so much more aware
               that processed and fast foods are not generally good for us.

               But where do we start? There’s so much conflicting advice and information based upon opinion,
               supposition or scientific studies that are beyond what most of us can understand. So, to greatly
               simplify matters here are 10 top tips, that we believe are good things to do.

               A quick guide to a healthier diet

                   1.  Avoid processed foods e.g., supermarket packaged bacon, sausages, cold meats and most
                       ready meals.
                   2.  Minimise sugar – opt for low sugar or unsweetened options.
                   3.  Don’t exceed recommended daily levels of salt - for ages 11+ it is 6g/day.
                   4.  Minimise dairy products - cheeses, milk and cream.
                   5.  Use fresh, ideally organic produce – avoiding pesticide, herbicide residues, artificial additives
                       and preservatives.
                   6.  Eat more seasonal vegetables and fresh fruit – wash anything bought from a supermarket.
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