Consuming a well-balanced diet
Eating a healthy aka a balanced diet is essential for excellent health and can help you feel your best.
This entails eating a diverse range of foods in the appropriate amounts, as well as consuming the appropriate amount of food and drink, in order to acquire and maintain healthy body weight.
This page discusses healthy eating tips for the general public.
People with unique dietary needs or a medical condition should seek guidance from their doctor or a qualified dietician.
Your diet’s food groups
According to the Eatwell Guide, in order to have a healthy, balanced diet, people should attempt to:
Try to consume at least five servings of different fruits and vegetables a day .
Meals should be based on high-fiber starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice, or pasta.
have some dairy or dairy substitutes (such as soya drinks)
Consume beans, lentils, fish, eggs, meat, and other protein-rich foods.
Choose unsaturated oils and spreads in minimal amounts.
consume plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)
If you consume meals and beverages heavy in fat, salt, and sugar, do it in moderation and in modest amounts.
To obtain a wide range of nutrients, try to eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups.
Most people in the UK consume much too many calories, far too much saturated fat, sugar, and salt, and far too little fruit, vegetables, oily fish, and fiber.
Because children under the age of two have different nutritional needs, the Eatwell Guide does not apply to them.
Children should progressively transition to eating the same foods as the rest of the family in the quantities suggested in the Eatwell Guide between the ages of 2 and 5 years.
Are you getting your five-a-day servings of fruits and vegetables?
Fruits and vegetables can be high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and should account for little more than one-third of your daily food intake.
Every day, it is recommended that you consume at least five servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Fresh, frozen, canned, dry, or juiced are all options.
There is evidence that persons who consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain malignancies.
Eating five pieces isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
A piece of this is:
80g fruit and vegetables, fresh, canned, or frozen
30g dried fruit – must be consumed only at mealtimes
150ml glass of fruit juice or smoothie – but no more than once per day as these drinks are high in sugar and can harm your teeth.
One piece is equal to 1 apple, banana, pear, or similar-sized fruit.
A slice of pineapple or melon counts as one portion, as do three heaping tablespoons of veggies.
A spoonful of dried fruit, such as raisins, added to your morning cereal is an easy way to achieve one serving.
You may also substitute a banana for your mid-morning biscuit and add a side salad to your meal.
To meet your 5 A Day, eat a serving of vegetables with dinner and fresh fruit with plain, lower-fat yogurt for dessert.
Learn more about what constitutes your 5 A Day.
Incorporate starchy foods into your diet.
Starchy foods should account for slightly more than one-third of your total caloric intake. This means that these foods should be the foundation of your meals.
Choose wholegrain or wholemeal versions of starchy foods such brown rice, wholewheat pasta, and brown, wholemeal, or higher fiber white bread.
They have more fiber and, in most cases, more vitamins and minerals than white types.
Potatoes with their peels are high in fiber and vitamins. When eating cooked potatoes or a jacket potato, for example, eat the skin as well.
Learn more about starchy foods.
Milk and dairy products (and alternatives)
Milk and dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, are high in protein. They also include calcium, which aids with bone health.
Wherever possible, use low-fat and low-sugar goods.
Choose semi-skimmed, 1% fat, or skimmed milk, as well as low-fat hard cheeses or cottage cheese and low-fat, low-sugar yogurt.
Dairy substitutes, such as soy beverages, are also included in this food group.
When shopping for substitutes, go for unsweetened, calcium-fortified varieties.
Learn more about milk and dairy foods.
Beans, lentils, fish, eggs, meat, and other sources of protein
These foods are all high in protein, which the body requires to grow and repair itself.
They’re also high in a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Meat is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. It is also a good source of vitamin B12.
To reduce fat, choose lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry whenever possible. Always thoroughly cook beef.
Reduce your consumption of red and processed meats such as bacon, ham, and sausages.
Learn more about meat.
Eggs and fish are also high in protein and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. Oily fish contains a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids.
Aim for at least two servings of fish every week, including one serving of oily fish.
Fresh, frozen, or canned fish are all options, but keep in mind that canned and smoked fish are sometimes rich in salt.
Pulses, such as beans, peas, and lentils, are naturally low in fat while being high in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Unsalted nuts are high in fiber and make an excellent snack. However, they still contain a lot of fat, so take them in moderation.
Find out more about eggs, pulses, and beans.
Spreads and oils
Some fat in the diet is necessary, but most individuals in the UK consume far too much-saturated fat.
It’s critical to acquire the majority of your fat from unsaturated oils and spreads.
Changing from saturated to unsaturated fats can help decrease cholesterol.
Keep in mind that all types of fat are high in energy and should be consumed in moderation.
Learn more about the many forms of fats.
Consume less saturated fat, sugar, and salt.
Too much-saturated fat can raise your blood cholesterol levels, increasing your chance of getting heart disease.
Consuming sugary meals and drinks on a regular basis raises your chances of obesity and tooth damage.
Excessive salt consumption can elevate blood pressure, increasing your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke.
See eight healthy eating ideas to learn more about why you should limit your intake of saturated fat, sugar, and salt, which foods contain them, and how to make healthier choices.