Skip to content

Making healthy eating easier

Published on 30 August 2023 12:07 PM

Making healthy eating easier

The dietician students also shared some key messages to help change the way that people think about healthy eating.  The outstanding message is that trying to eat more healthily needn’t be a difficult thing that’s really hard to achieve. There are many simple changes which can be made which can make a massive difference.

A few small changes in your diet or daily routine can make a really big difference

It’s not an ‘all or nothing’ situation.  It’s not about not being able to have a treat, it’s about the whole picture.  As little as 5% weight loss can make a significant impact on your health! Or doing a small amount of exercise or movement compared with none can pay dividends.

Do not be afraid of carbohydrate

A spike in blood sugar levels is a normal response to eating carbohydrate.  The Glycemic Index is useful as a guide to which foods will give an elevated spike in blood sugar level. Any foods with a GI of 55-70 are classed as ‘medium’ on the scale, and over 70 is classed as ‘high’ on the GI index, e.g. sugar and sugary foods, sugary soft drinks, white bread, potatoes, white rice.  Low or medium GI foods are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time e.g. some fruit and vegetables, pulses wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.

There’s factors that can be changed and those that cannot

There are a number of risk factors that add up to someone’s overall risk of becoming diabetic.  Many of these contributory factors such as ethnicity, family history and gender cannot be controlled.  However, there are many things that can be controlled, e.g. the foods that you choose to eat over others or whether you keep active. You could have been an athlete a year or two ago, but still become diabetic because of other risk factors.

Be wary of the source of the information that you are reading 

It’s critical to separate facts from fiction.  Some claims are based on studies of small groups rather than a study of thousands of people over a long period of time. There’s a lot of conflicting information from unreliable sources on social media. 

Be careful of ‘confirmation bias’ 

This is when you look for information to validate your ideas. You can always find information somewhere online to support a preconception or something you are looking to confirm. A small amount of information from a reliable source e.g. an NHS health professional can make all the difference to the quality of our lives.

Our mental health is important

It’s normal to occasionally overeat if you’re stressed or anxious, but if this is a regular situation for you, you might want to consider contacting your GP for a referral to a mental health professional who can help you with underlying causes.

There’s usually no need to completely change your diet

Sometimes there’s a conception that some culture's diets are unhealthy and that it’s impossible to eat the food that you’ve grown up with to be healthy. This false preconception can often create a barrier to eating more healthily. You don’t have to shift to a completely different diet, simply enhance the one you know with some healthier food ‘swaps’.

Eating more fibre

Only 7.2% of the UK population eat the fibre recommendation in their diets (from the national guidelines of the ‘Eat well plate’). Yet it helps people to feel satisfied and less hungry after eating less.  It also plays an important role in looking after your gut biome.

Go back to the Age UK Islington article you were reading.