From the importance of a healthy heart and maintaining strong bones to what it means to suffer from diabetes, find out more about your diet's relationship with your health
Diabetes is a condition where the amount of sugars in the blood is too high because of low or missing insulin, the hormone needed to remove sugar from the blood.
There are two main types of diabetes:
This usually occurs before the age of 40 and is often diagnosed in childhood. It's mostly an autoimmune condition where the body has damaged its own insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 1 is treated with insulin via an injection or a pump alongside a healthy diet and active lifestyle.
The body is still able to produce some insulin but maybe not enough or the body can't respond to it properly. This is known as insulin resistance. It's most commonly diagnosed in people over 40 but it is becoming more common in very overweight UK children and teenagers. Type 2 can usually be treated with a healthy diet and physical activity but sometimes medication or insulin are required.
Healthy eating advice for those with diabetes is the same as to those without – a healthy balanced diet that’s low in fat, sugar and salt with plenty of activity. Choosing wholegrain, starchy carbohydrates such as oats, brown rice and brown pasta, as well as plenty of beans and pulses at each meal helps the body to digest food more slowly, which helps to reduce a rise in blood sugar. For more information visit Diabetes UK
To help balance your diet, choose foods from across our food hall which carry the Eat Well logo, as these are healthy choices.
Heart health is a major public challenge and is among the top causes of premature death in UK. There are many ways to improve heart health, so we've pulled a few of the keys ones together.
Over half of UK adults have a raised cholesterol, putting them at risk of coronary heart disease. Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can make a big difference.
Help support a healthy blood pressure by following a healthy diet which is low in salt and includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, being active each day and not smoking.
A healthy diet and active lifestyle helps to support strong healthy bones, reducing the risk of conditions such as osteoporosis. What’s known as peak bone mass is usually reached by 20 years of age, when our bones are at their strongest, which naturally reduces from age 40 onwards.
A healthy diet and lifestyle can help to support healthy bones. Choose plenty of fruit and vegetables, foods rich in calcium, such as low fat milk and yogurt, and vitamin D, such as oily fish and fortified foods. Did you know that all M&S breads and sandwiches contain vitamin D?
Smokers have a greater risk of bone loss than non-smokers.
As we age, our activity levels can sometimes decline, making maintaining a healthy weight more difficult. Following the principles and proportions of the Eatwell plate is really important to keep your diet healthy.
Ensuring the foods you eat are nutrient dense will help you maintain a healthy weight, consuming adequate vitamins and minerals without intense activity. For people with smaller appetites, eating little and often is an important strategy.
Key nutrients to be included in your diet include:
It's recommended that an average adult should consume around 6-8 (250ml) glasses of water per day, however this amount should be increased during physical activity or hot weather to avoid dehydration. Drinking water is the most effective but low-calorie drinks, fruit juices, reduced-fat milks and moderate amounts of tea and coffee are also fine.
Make every meal healthy – explore our online selection of Eat Well products, which includes fresh fish, salads and fruit
We all know we should be eating more fruit and veg and watching our calories, but how? Let our guide be your first step