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8 Simple Rules To Ensure You’re Eating A Balanced Diet

Good nutrition doesn’t have to be difficult.
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From getting our five-a-day to drinking more water, most of us already know the basics of a balanced diet. We’re just not that great at putting it into practice! Our eight practical tips will help you make healthy eating an easy part of every day.

Make breakfast something to look forward to
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If you’re not thrilled by another bowl of sawdust-like muesli, it may be that you need to get more imaginative with breakfast. It’s a meal that, done properly, can be a real nutritional powerhouse, taking you effortlessly through your morning’s activities. Think porridge with a dash of vanilla, a handful of mixed nuts and seeds and some chopped fresh fruit. Or eggs – scrambled or poached, on a slice of wholegrain toast, perhaps with some smoked salmon, spinach, avocado and tomatoes.
Eat Mediterranean
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When a diet is both delicious and healthy it must be worth following. Take the Mediterranean diet, for example. It includes lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, cereals, beans, peas and other legumes, and unsaturated fat in the form of olive oil. Think of the vast, colourful salads, grilled vegetables, fresh fruit and nuts you order on Mediterranean holidays and replicate those as often as you can at home.
Choose healthier snacks
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Often, all we’re really craving when we fancy a snack is just a sweet or salty hit. It’s better to deliver those hits with fresh fruit, olives, pickles or a mug of homemade vegetable soup instead of reaching for packets of crisps or chocolate biscuits. Healthy snacks such as dried fruit contribute to a balanced diet and can be part of your five-a-day. Keep the fruit bowl visible and within easy reach, and rice cakes, hummus, carrot sticks and cucumber in the fridge.
Consider grocery shopping online
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Unless you have an iron will, aren’t hungry and can stick rigidly to your healthy eating list when you go food shopping, think about online delivery. It’s all too easy to be tempted to go off-list in the supermarket and succumb to less-than-healthy processed foods, ‘treats’ and fizzy drinks. When you order online, you’ll be less inclined to impulse buy. You can think about what you’re ordering, away from the supermarkets’ psychological tricks to make you buy things.
Don’t skip meals if you can help it
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When you miss a meal, you’re likely get hangry, tired and tempted to grab a fat-and-sugar-laden takeaway on the way home rather than cook a nutritious meal. Carrying some fruit or nuts with you means at least you have something healthy to nibble. With the best will in the world, we’re all busy and sometimes we simply don’t have time to eat properly. If your lifestyle is regularly hectic and you find you don’t always eat a balanced diet, you may like to consider taking a daily multivitamin.
Make your freezer work for you
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Frozen foods are as good as fresh, and frozen veg count towards your five-a-day. Fish, vegetables, and many healthy prepared foods can be cooked quickly from frozen. You can also batch-cook your favourite healthy meals (a slow cooker is great for this) and freeze them in individual portions. When you have leftovers, freeze those in single-portions too – there’s a certain delight in remembering there’s a portion of a full roast dinner in the freezer when you arrive home ravenous. Talking of roasts, freeze your chicken carcasses and when you’ve time, simmer a nutritious bone broth – perfect for homemade soups, risottos and stews.
Choose wholegrain
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There’s loads in the medical press right now about gut microbes and general health. Eating plenty of dietary fibre may help keep the composition of our intestinal microbiota varied and well-nourished, which can have a positive effect on our health. Wholegrains are an excellent source of that dietary fibre; and vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, phytochemicals and other good things that are otherwise stripped away when the grains are processed. We also digest wholegrains more slowly so we feel fuller for longer. Choose brown rice, wholewheat pasta and bread and wholegrain cereals over their highly-processed white alternatives.
Enjoy your food!
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On a healthy, balanced diet, no foods are completely off-limits. When you have a gourmet burger with triple-cooked fries one day, enjoy every last mouthful, then have something lighter such as grilled fish with extra veggies the next. It’s a question of balance – aim to eat healthily most of the time and the occasional indulgence won’t make any difference.

Micronutrients made easy

To help support your health and well-being outside and in, Centrum has partnered with HuffPost to help you make small but yet effective changes.*

Centrum wants to motivate you to boost your health in a simple, enjoyable and sustainable way. Working with leading experts, nutritionists, exercise and wellness brands, we have curated a wealth of tip-packed, easy-to-follow content from healthy eating ideas, to on-trend activities and ways to de-stress and relax. Centrum’s range of multivitamins is specially tailored to help support your nutritional needs every day based on your age, gender and lifestyle.

To find out more, and discover which Centrum is right for you, visit

*Multivitamins are intended to supplement your diet and should not be regarded as a substitute for a varied diet and a healthy lifestyle. Centrum contains vitamin D, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system, and vitamin B12, which contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

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