You don’t need to cut back on food to reach your healthy weight goals this January, according to the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF).
Eating more of some types of food could boost your overall health, it claimed.
You could reduce your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer by adding more of these four foods to your diet, it said.
Eating more wholegrain foods could boost your fibre intake.
Wholegrain food includes brown rice, wholemeal bread, brown pasta and whole rye.
BNF said: “Fibre doesn’t tend to get much attention, often only associated with ‘keeping you regular’, but it’s actually important for many health outcomes including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.
“Whilst we are frequently being encouraged to reduce our portion sizes, the daily fibre recommendation has actually recently been increased to 30g per adult per day.
“But, on average UK adults are only getting about 18g per day, meaning we’re well below recommendations.”
The amount of fish we include in our diets should be increased, the organisation said, especially oily fish.
Oily fish is high in omega-3, and could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer and dementia, according to the NHS.
“The current UK recommendation for adults is to consume at least two portions [280g] of sustainably sourced fish per week, including one portion of oily fish,” said BNF.
“However the average adult consumes less than a fifth of this [just 54g].”
Pulses includes beans, lentils and peas.
They’re a great source of protein, and a good source of iron. A diet rich in pulses could also lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, the NHS said.
“If fish isn’t your dish and you prefer a vegetarian / vegan option, pulses are a great plant-based source of nutrients,” said BNF.
“Pulses can be cheap and easy to prepare, making them perfect for the January money-spending detox too. Most pulses have a low calorie density, so great for bulking up your meals.”
Fruit and vegetables
Green vegetables provide us with important micronutrients, including calcium, iron, vitamin A, folate and vitamin C.
Leafy greens could improve your metabolism and keep you hydrated for longer.
BNF said: “Rocket, watercress, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, okra and broccoli are all examples of nutrient-rich green vegetables so make sure they’re part of your five-a-day.
“For those of us who enjoy the sweeter side of life, eating more fruit is a healthy (and delicious) way to kick the sugar cravings and fill the void left by the mince pies, puddings and Christmas chocolates.”