Eat Well for Health
The food we eat every day has a big impact on our health – a healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring or restrictive!
Balance is the key to getting it right. It’s about eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions & working towards and keeping a healthy body weight.
So, how can I choose a balanced diet?
Using the Eatwell Guide
The Eatwell Guide shows the different types of food we should eat and what proportion we should eat them in, to achieve a healthy balanced diet.
- plenty of fruit and vegetables
Did you know that around only 1 in 3 people in our local population eat the recommendation of at least 5 fruit and vegetables a day?
More on 5 A DAY
- plenty of starchy foods, such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta
Try to base your meals on these foods – they’re a great source of energy and B vitamins. Choose wholegrain varieties to boost your fibre intake.
More on starchy foods
- some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other sources of protein
These provide important sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. Choose lean meats and eat less red and processed meats e.g. bacon, ham and sausages. Aim for two portions of fish per week, one should be oily e.g. salmon, mackerel or sardines.
More on meat, fish, eggs and pulses
- have some dairy or diary alternatives (soya drinks and yoghurts)
Choose lower fat and lower sugar varieties which still help you get enough protein and calcium.
More on milk and dairy foods
Note that for young children whole cows milk should not be used as the main drink until after 1 year. Semi skimmed milk may be given from 2 years. Skimmed milk should not be given to children under 5 years
- choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts
There are healthier type of fat and include rapeseed, olive and vegetable oils. Remember though, all fats are high in calories and energy so use sparingly.
Find out more about fats
- eat foods high in fat, salt and sugar less often and in small amounts
Eating fewer sweets, cakes and biscuits and drinking fewer sugar drinks will help reduce your fat and sugar intake. As well as being kind to teeth, this will help keep your weight in check. Did you know that more than half our population is overweight?
Find out more about cutting down on sugar
- drink plenty of fluids – 6-8 cups/glasses a day
Water, sugar free drinks, lower fat milks, tea and coffee all count towards this recommendation. Fruit juice and smoothies also count; however limit these drinks to no more than 150ml combined total as they contain free sugars that can damage teeth.
Find out more about water and drinks
- how much energy do I need?
We all need different amounts of energy or calories to be a healthy weight. How much we need depends on lots of factors including how active we are. On average women require 2000kcal per day and men require 2500kcal per day. This includes all calories from both food and drinks.
Find out more about calories
- cut down on salt
Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which increases your risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Adults should eat no more than 6g of salt (approximately 1 teaspoon) and children should have even less. Replace salt with pepper, herbs and spices to add flavor and choose foods lower in salt by reading food labels.
reduce your salt intake
Looking some healthy cooking inspiration?
See these recipe videos from Cook It! – a practical nutrition programme aimed at encouraging those cooking on a limited budget to enhance their cooking skills and learn more about a balanced diet.
How Healthy is your Diet?
Check out this quick and easy questionnaire from enjoyhealthyeating.info.
How Healthy is Your Weight?
To find out, try this healthy weight calculator from NHS Choices.
Eight Tips for Healthy Eating
Eating a healthy, balanced diet isn’t rock science – get top tips from NHS Choices.
Looking for some Inspiration?
Check out these healthy and delicious recipes from NHS Choices.
‘Transform your trolley’ features a 12 step guide on how to be a savvy food shopper. It has everything from planning your meals, avoiding supposed ‘special offers’ and how to read labels to make healthier food choices.
To find out more check out the link below: