Eating a balanced diet is essential for physical health and mental wellbeing. The Eatwell plate demonstrates the different food groups, and the proportions that we should consume for a balanced and healthy diet. Eating a variety of foods, that includes many nutrients, helps to support bone health. You should eat a variety of foods from the four main food groups; fruit and vegetables, carbohydrates, protein and dairy.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, aiming for a minimum of 5 portions a day.
- Choose high fibre carbohydrates.
- Eat 2-3 portions of protein very day, such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, pulses or soya. Choose low fat cuts, and trim excess fat.
- Eat 2-3 portions of dairy foods which are rich in calcium. A portion is 200ml of milk, 30g of cheese (a small matchbox), 150ml yoghurt or milk-based dessert such as rice pudding (small pots). Choose low-fat and/or low-sugar varieties.
- Reduce saturated fat intake by eating fewer cakes, biscuits, crisps and fried foods. Choose lean meats and trim excess fat.
- Reduce salt intake by choosing lower salt products, and not including in any cooking or at the table.
- Reduce sugar intake by drinking less sweet drinks and confectionary.
- Expose skin to sunlight for vitamin D. Eating foods that contain vitamin D include oily fish, breakfast cereals, butter, red meat and eggs.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day (1.2 litres).
- Moderate intakes of caffeine from drinks like coffee, tea and colas.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
Choosing a varied diet from a range of foods, not smoking and keeping active are all great ways to boost your health.