Language Lab

Five key words to talk about healthy eating in English

Food is one of the great pleasures of life, but if you have too much of a good thing it can be bad for your health. Healthy eating is the key: a balanced diet is one that is both yummy and good for you too. Here are some useful words to talk about healthy eating in English.

A nutritional diet is a good mix of proteins (meat, fish, lentils, eggs, and nuts for example) carbohydrates (rice, bread, and wheat for example) and fats (cheese, oil, butter, and nuts for example) as well as enough variety of vitamins (A, B, E) and minerals (magnesium and potassium for example) to give the body all that it needs to keep well.

A balanced diet should also provide just the right amount of calories (energy) to stop you getting overweight. A lot of people think a high fibre (the indigestible portion of plant foods) diet is the best for controlling weight as it makes you feel full. In general, a diet low in sugar or salt is better for the health of most people so fast food (like a burger or kebab) should only be a treat.

Some people with allergies or illnesses, such as people who are lactose intolerant (cannot eat milk products), coeliacs (people who are allergic to gluten which is found in wheat), or diabetics (people who suffer from high blood sugar) need a special diet.

Many people follow a special diet for religious reasons e.g. they eat Halal (if they are Muslim) and Kosher (if they are Jewish) foods or do not eat certain things such as beef, onions, and pork.

They may eat specific food at different times of the year, such as pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, or they fast – don’t eat at all. While vegetarians do not eat any kind of meat, very strict vegetarians, called vegans, do not eat any products that come from animals such as milk or honey.

So although food can bring great pleasure, making sure everyone has the right food can be a challenge. Hopefully you now know some key words that will make eating healthy easier.

 image: Joe Buckingham

I’m Helen, originally from and still living in England. I love travelling and would like to do more, but have managed to talk to more people about their lives through EF English Live than I have had en route. I have taught for 18 years. Most of my teaching has taken place in the UK, where I teach newcomers to the UK, but I have also taught briefly in Turkey, Spain, Italy, France and Senegal.

Helen Austen

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