Setting your Health Goals for Nutrition and Hydration Week 2020
With Nutrition and Hydration Week 2020 approaching, it’s the perfect time to set some goals to improve your health and lifestyle.
When is it?
Nutrition and Hydration Week has been held in March every year since 2012. This year it takes place between the 16th and 22nd March.
The week aims to make us think and act upon our nutrition and hydration i.e. the food and drink we are putting into our body, the effect it has and how we can achieve a healthy balance.
It is an annual, global event and has grown in popularity and size because people are becoming ever more interested in their health and nutrition.
The week is aimed at caregiving organisations to focus on the importance of nutrition and hydration, but it’s also a good time to reflect on your own lifestyle and personal choices.
Global Tea Party
On Wednesday 18th March there is a global tea party which is the highlight of the Nutrition and Hydration Week. It encourages the organisations who are participating to hold a tea party and share their photos on social media.
What can I do?
If you’re not part of an organisation running events to mark the week, don’t worry, there’s plenty you can do on a personal level. By now, many of us have already broken our new year’s resolutions and so, this week could be the perfect excuse to get yourselves back on track.
Following a healthy diet is made simpler with Public Health England’s Eatwell Guide. The main points are as follows:
Eat at least five portions of fruit and veg per day.
That includes fresh, canned, frozen and dried varieties. Although many of us don’t reach the daily target of 5-a-day, it is important to try to because these foods are a great source of fibre as well as vitamins and minerals.
One-third of your daily diet should contain starchy carbohydrates.
That includes bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. However, it is healthier to choose wholegrain or high fibre varieties. These foods are a good energy source and provide you with the nutrients you need.
Incorporate beans and pulses into your diet as well as meat and fish.
As you’ve probably noticed with the vegan and plant-based diet movement, beans, pulses and lentils make a good alternative to meat. They are a good source of protein as well as many vitamins and minerals. You could try mixing up your diet with these and having meat-free days. You should choose lean cuts of meat and avoid processed meats where you can.
Aim to eat 2 portions of fish each week. Oily fish is good because it contains omega-3 fatty acids which are good for our cardiovascular and mental health.
Don’t forget your dairy products.
Dairy products keep our bones strong and healthy because they contain calcium. Examples include milk, cheese and yoghurts but choosing lower fat versions is a healthier option.
Keep the treats to a minimum.
That is all the things we love to eat but shouldn’t such as cakes, biscuits, pastries, chocolate, crisps and sauces. Even though they might taste good, they’re not an essential part of our diet and should be eaten in small amounts.
The Eatwell Guide states you should drink 6-8 glasses of fluid per day, including:
- Low-fat milk
- Sugar-free drinks
Although you should limit your fruit juice and/or smoothie intake to 150ml per day. That’s because they contain lots of sugar which are not good for you blood sugar levels or your teeth.
National Health Service. (2019). The Eatwell Guide. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/