York Student Health

Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating doesn’t need to be difficult on a budget.

You should try to follow the Eat Well plate found here. You can also download the FoodSwitch app to your Smartphone to help you make healthier diet choice.

Carbohydrates help the body to produce fuel and should make up a 45-60% of your food intake. They can be found in potatoes, rice, bread, pasta and cereals. It is best to eat wholegrain versions of rice, bread and pasta, and opt for boiled potatoes rather than chips or crisps which are fried in unhealthy fat. With cereals, it is best to eat ones which contain wheat and fibre. Check the labels as even some which are marketed as healthy or low-fat can sometimes contain a large amount of sugar.

Fruit and vegetables should be another third of your day's food. Recently, nutrition experts have recommended as much as seven portions. One portion is about a handful of food. Eating a higher level of vegetables is preferable because fruit contains more sugar. Vegetables that are usually very economical to buy are:

  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Sweetcorn
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumber

Other ways to get your five a day are through fruit juice and tinned vegetables like baked beans. However, fruit juice only counts as one portion as liquidising the fruit intensifies the sugar content and can damage your teeth.

Protein is important for growing healthy body tissue. Protein can be found in meat, tofu, beans, eggs, yoghurt, nuts and seeds. Between 20-35% of your daily food intake should be from protein sources.

20 - 35% of calories should come from fat. There are different kinds of fats - some are good for you but there are other kinds of fats that you should avoid. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are okay, but look out for saturated fat and trans fat on food labels and try to keep consumption of these to a minimum. Foods which contain saturated fat are processed meats, butter, ready meals, palm and coconut oil. Foods which contain trans fat are deep-fried foods, some take-away meals and baked goods, such as pies, pastries, cakes, biscuits and buns.

To reduce your intake of these fats, consider following these tips.

We also need to eat sugar every day for energy. However, the average person eats too much sugar so it is important to keep an eye on how much sugar you are consuming.

For example, a 500ml bottle of Coca-Cola contains 53 grams of sugar - almost 60% of your daily sugar intake in one go. Eating 17 Haribo sweets will add 21 grams of sugar - almost a quarter of your daily sugar intake. Often there is more sugar than we realise in what we buy so it's important to check food labels.

To have optimum health, try to consume enough vitamins and minerals in your diet. More information on how to get these is available here.

It’s important to keep hydrated during the day, especially in warm weather, so keep a bottle of water with you during your classes. Water lost through urine and sweat must be replaced. If you don't consume enough you can become dehydrated, causing symptoms such as headaches, tiredness and loss of concentration. Most healthy adults need between one and a half to three litres of fluid a day. Tea, coffee and fruit juices count towards fluid intake, and fruit juice also contain some of the essential vitamins.

There are many sites to find student recipes:

Student Recipes

BBC Good Food - for students

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