Disc of five
Eating a balanced diet is important for our health. The key to eating well is to enjoy a variety of nutritious foods from each of the Five Food Groups. That way, you’ll be getting a fantastic mix of the best nutrients and vitamins.
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Vegetables & Fruit
Most of us still are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. They should make up over a third of the food we eat each day. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg each day. Choose from fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced. Remember that fruit juice and smoothies should be limited to no more than a combined total of 150ml a day.
Oils, Fats & Spreads
Unsaturated fats are healthier fats and include vegetable, rapeseed, olive and sunflower oils. Remember all types of fat are high in energy and should be eaten sparingly.
Dairy, fish, legumes, meat, egg & nuts3
Dairy Products: Milk, cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais are good sources of protein and some vitamins, and they’re also an important source of calcium, which helps keep our bones strong. Try to go for lower fat and lower sugar products where possible, like 1% fat milk, reduced-fat cheese or plain low-fat yoghurt.
Proteins: These foods are good sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. Pulses, such as beans, peas and lentils, are good alternatives to meat because they’re lower in fat and higher in fibre and protein, too. Choose lean cuts of meat and mince, and eat less red and processed meat like bacon, ham and sausages. Aim for at least 2 portions of fish every week, 1 of which should be oily, such as salmon or mackerel.
Bread, cereal products, potatoes & other carbohydrates
Starchy food should make up just over a third of the food we eat. Choose higher fibre wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta and brown rice, or simply leave skins on potatoes. There are also higher fibre versions of white bread and pasta. Starchy foods are a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients in our diet.
Water, lower fat milks and lower sugar or sugar-free drinks, all count. Fruit juice and smoothies also count towards your fluid consumption, but they contain free sugars that can damage teeth, so limit these drinks to a combined total of 150ml a day.