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Healthy Town: Give your kitchen cupboards a health makeover


Despite having all manner of mod cons to help us with our daily chores, one of the biggest complaints amongst adults today is that they don’t have enough time – to relax, catch up with friends, exercise and, crucially, to prepare a meal from scratch.

But as with everything in life, a little bit of planning goes a long way. Whether you live alone, with a partner or with a busy house full of children, taking the time to organise a healthy weekly shop and meal plan will not only save time in the long run but will improve your diet, lifestyle and ultimately your health.

During the Pfizer Healthy Town Programme, Wexford residents will be encouraged to think about what they put in their shopping basket, aim to reduce processed food and increase the amount of fresh produce they buy.

1. Look at the long-term effects 

Dr Marian O’Reilly, chief specialist in nutrition at Safefood says we all need to strike the right balance between giving our bodies enough food and making sure it’s not too much.

“While it’s a well-known phrase, it still rings true that food is fuel for our bodies,” she says. “Having a good diet provides us with the right amount of nutrients that our bodies need to function at its best. On the other hand, a poor diet will provide us with some nutrients but not others. And while we’ll still function, we may not feel as good as we could. Looking at it more long term, if we continue to eat a poor diet, we’re at increased risk of nutrient deficiencies and diet-related diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

We keep on saying it but we need to eat more fruit and vegetables every day – in fact, ideally, half the food on your plate should be made up of fruit and veg

2. Treat yourself to some more vegetables

“We keep on saying it but we need to eat more fruit and vegetables every day – in fact, ideally, half the food on your plate should be made up of fruit and veg. We know from research that the average weekly family food shop spends more [19 per cent] on highly processed “treat” foods like crisps, chocolates and sweets than it does on fruit [10 per cent] and vegetables [7per cent] so we need to rebalance that.”