Why is it important to eat healthily?
Eating well is essential for good health and wellbeing, and contributes to reducing the risk of conditions including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, some cancers and osteoporosis. When it comes to a healthy diet, balance is the key to getting it right. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
The Eatwell Plate shows the different types of food that make up our diet, and shows the proportions we should eat them in to have a healthy, balanced diet.
Eat well by:
- Eating lots of fruit and vegetables - Remember to try and have at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day. Whether it is dried, tinned, frozen or a fruit juice, they all count!
- Have plenty of starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta, rice. A good tip is to plan your meals around starchy foods. Aim to include 1 food from this group in each meal.
- Eat some protein rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs and beans. Go lean - remove the skin from chicken and the excess fat from meat. Remember to try to include two portions of fish a week one of which should be oily.
- Have some dairy foods. Try to choose lower fat versions where possible for example, semi skimmed milk, low fat yoghurts, lower fat cheeses such as Edam or cottage cheese.
- Go easy on your intake of foods containing fat and sugar. You can cut down on fat and sugar by eating fewer sweets, cakes and biscuits, and drinking fewer sugary soft drinks.
There are lots of activities in Leeds to support people to learn about healthy food choices, plus teaching you how to prepare and cook healthy food!
Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food
Jamie's Ministry of food aims to teach the people of Leeds to cook quick, simple, and healthy meals, then ‘Pass It On’ and teach others how to make them too. Courses last for 10 weeks and each lesson lasts for two hours, at the end of each session you will have prepared a meal which you may be able to take home with you. See the external links section for more information.
This is a Leeds Cookery School CIC (not for profit) who run a range of classes and courses, including vegetarian cooking courses for different ages and abilities. Here it is all about inspiring people and celebrating simple good food. The courses are designed to be completely accessible to people living with impairments and Get Cooking! run a supported course programme for people with additional support needs.
For more information visit www.get-cooking.org.uk
Shop to get fitter
These are monthly healthy eating shopping tours at Kirkgate market, and are about supporting people ‘make healthier choices easier’. Facilitated by Community Dietitian the tours help put healthy eating into context and assists self-management of people at high risk or with long-term conditions eg Heart Disease, Diabetes or Stroke. For more information please call the NHS Shop To Get Fitter Dietitian on 0113 8430890 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm)
The Leeds Cooking Standards and Good Practice Guide have been devised to support the delivery of cooking projects across the city. You can find these in the related documents section of this page.
Other sources of information for healthy eating:.
The Cooking Course Good Practice guide
The Cooking Course Good Practice guide has been developed by frontline workers delivering food projects, to share their experiences and provide a step by step guide to the delivery of cooking skills considering health and safety, delivery the project and reaching the intended audience.
The Cooking Course Good Practice guide (PDF 1.5MB) offers lots of useful information and advice to support the delivery of cooking skills projects.
The Leeds Food Evaluation Tools
The Leeds Food Evaluation Tools can help to monitor the delivery of cooking skills projects. There are three forms available to download to track outcomes attributed to the courses. The pre-course form could be used to evaluate one-off delivery, whereas the three forms can be used to monitor longer term outcomes from cooking skills programmes.
Pre-course evaluation (PDF 225KB)
Post-course evaulation (PDF 205KB)
6 month evaluation (PDF 221KB)