Eating well is vital to your physical health. Here you can learn about maintaining a balanced diet, food labels and genetically modified food that help you and your family to stay healthy.
Importance of a Balanced Diet
A proper diet allows your body to function at its best, helping you to fend off disease, feel more energetic and maintain optimal weight. Studies show that a healthy diet and regular exercise are the most effective ways to achieve and sustain your ideal body weight. The Centre for Health Protection provides a range of information on balancing your diet and avoiding excessive weight gain.
- More on the importance of a balanced diethttp://www.cheu.gov.hk/eng/info/2plus3_01.htm
- More on nutrient classificationshttp://www.cheu.gov.hk/eng/info/2plus3_09.htm
- More on food and body weighthttp://www.cheu.gov.hk/eng/info/2plus3_29.htm
How to Eat Smart
The three principles to a healthy diet are variety, moderation and balance. To properly fuel your body you should take in different types of nutrients daily through a well-balanced diet.
- More on food groups, food pyramid and smart-eating recipeshttp://www.cheu.gov.hk/eng/info/exercise_04.htm
- Enjoying fruits and vegetables every dayhttp://www.cheu.gov.hk/eng/info/2plus3_14.htm
- Tips on healthy Chinese disheshttp://www.cheu.gov.hk/eng/info/exercise_18.htm
- Guidelines for vegetarian diethttp://www.cheu.gov.hk/eng/info/exercise_11.htm
- ”EatSmart@restaurant.hk” Campaignhttp://restaurant.eatsmart.gov.hk/eng/home.asp
How to Read Nutrition Information Labels
As many packaged food products now include nutrition information on their packaging, shopping with your health in mind has become easier. Learn how to read nutrition labels and you will know more about the food you consume.
- Nutrition information on food labelshttp://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/whatsnew/whatsnew_act/whatsnew_act_19_Nutrition_Labelling_Scheme.html
Understanding Genetically Modified Food
Genetically modified food has become a subject of debate around the world. You should be aware of any possible dangers from genetically modified tomatoes, corn, soybeans, potatoes and the like, as well as the potential benefits, such as their resistance to insects and viral infection. The Centre for Food Safety provides a range of information on the concerns and benefits of genetically modified food, on both the global and local fronts.
- More on genetically modified foodshttp://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_gmf/programme_gmf.html
Dietary Recommendations for Different Age Groups
Dietary needs vary at different stages of life, and between men and women. Here you can find the relevant guidelines and tips.
- Information on nutritionhttp://www.cheu.gov.hk/eng/info/exercise.htm
For Infants and Children
Breastmilk is the best food for babies. It contains all the essential nutrients and antibodies that babies need. For mothers who are unable or choose not to breastfeed, infant formula is an alternative. As babies grow up fast, breastmilk or infant formula can no longer meet their nutritional needs. Introduction of complementary food should be started by the age of 6 months. A good weaning will pave the way for the development of good eating habits of the child in future. More information is available from the Family Health Service of the Department of Health.
- Information on breastfeedinghttp://www.fhs.gov.hk/english/health_info/class_topic/ct_child_health/ch_breastfeeding.html
- Information on nutrition for newborns to five-year-old childrenhttp://www.fhs.gov.hk/english/health_info/class_topic/ct_child_health/ch_nutrition.html
For School Children and Teenagers
School children and adolescents should develop good eating habits to maintain healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle. Below are some tips for eating smart at school and nutrition information for teenagers.
- “EatSmart@school.hk” Campaignhttp://www.gov.hk/en/residents/health/foodsafe/healthyeating.htm
- More on diet and nutrition for studentshttp://www.studenthealth.gov.hk/english/health/health_dn/health_dn.html
Women have special dietary needs during each stage of their lives, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers need optimum nutrients to maintain their own health and for the development of their babies. You can get more information from the Family Health Service of the Department of Health.
- Information about healthy eating for womenhttp://www.fhs.gov.hk/english/health_info/class_topic/ct_woman_health/wh_physical.html
- Eating guide for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothershttp://www.fhs.gov.hk/english/health_info/class_topic/ct_woman_health/wh_antenatal_an5.html
Like women, men can reduce their risk of gaining excess weight and build a healthy body by paying attention to what they eat. The Men’s Health Programme provided by the Department of Health has more information.
- More on eating smart for menhttp://www.hkmenshealth.com/eng/lifestyle/eat.aspx
For the Elderly
The elderly should be alert to potential health hazards and make wise food choices to stay healthy. The Elderly Health Service of the Department of Health provides advice for the elderly and their carers.
- Food shopping tips for the elderlyhttp://www.info.gov.hk/elderly/english/healthinfo/lifestyles/shoppingsmart-e.htm
- Tips for the elderly when eating outhttp://www.info.gov.hk/elderly/english/healthinfo/lifestyles/healthyandsmarteatingout-e.htm
- Tips for the elderly on choosing snackshttp://www.info.gov.hk/elderly/english/healthinfo/lifestyles/healthy_snacks_e.htm
Food Safety and Hygiene
Healthy eating also means observing food safety and hygiene. From purchasing and preparing food to cooking and dining out, you should be aware of how to eat safely to prevent diseases and food poisoning.
- Food safety and hygienehttp://www.gov.hk/en/residents/health/foodsafe/foodsafety.htm
Last review date: January 2013