What is a healthy balanced diet?
The Eatwell Guide shows the different food groups which make up a healthy, balanced diet. It is important to eat a good variety of foods. This helps manage weight and improve wellbeing. It can also reduce the risk of some health conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Try to have 3 regular meals, and include the following in your diet each day:
- A starchy food at each meal.
- cereal, bread, potatoes, pasta or rice. Wholemeal/high fibre types are best.
- 2-3 helpings of protein rich foods
- lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans or pulses - lentils, chick peas.
- A generous portion of vegetables or salad with each meal.
- 3 pieces of fruit daily
- a small glass, 100mls of pure fruit juice is one portion.
- 1 pint (600mls) of semi-skimmed milk each day
- Small pot of yoghurt or matchbox size piece of cheese can be substituted for 1/3 (200mls) pint of milk.
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Fruit and vegetables
Aim for at least 5 Portions of fruit and vegetables a day!
Here are few ways you could include these:
- Add fruit to cereal
- Try banana on toast
- Snack on fruit or chopped vegetables
- Add salad to a sandwich or roll
- Have vegetable soup
- Have a large helping of vegetables or salad with your meal
- Have fruit salad as a dessert
- Have a glass of fruit juice with breakfast
Ten top tips for a healthy diet
- Water and ‘no added sugar’ cordials are a better choice than fizzy drinks. Aim to have 6 – 8 cups of fluid each day.
- If you are trying to control your weight, try using a smaller plate to cut down on portion sizes.
- A large helping of vegetables or salad at each meal is a healthy way to fill up. If you are trying to lose weight aim to fill half your plate with vegetables or salad.
- Include cereal, bread, pasta, potatoes or rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- We don’t need to eat large amounts of meat. A small helping will do. Include meat with 2 meals each day. Lean meat, fish, eggs, pulses or meat-free alternatives are healthy choices. Aim to have fish at least twice a week.
- Only use a thin scraping of butter or lower fat spread.
- Snack on fruit. This can be frozen, fresh or tinned.
- Cut down on high fat foods like crisps, chips, pies, pastries and fried foods.
- Limit chocolate, sweets, cakes and biscuits to 1 small treat a day.
- Avoid adding sugar to foods and drinks.