A diet based on starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta; with plenty of fruit and vegetables; some protein-rich foods such as beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins; some milk and dairy foods or dairy alternatives; and not too much fat, salt or sugar, will give you all the nutrients you need.
When it comes to a healthy diet, balance is the key to getting it right. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
Food groups in our diet
To have a healthy, balanced diet, people should try to:
- Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
- Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates. Choose wholegrain where possible
- Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks). Choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options
- Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein. Aim for two portions of fish every week – one of which should be oily, such as salmon or mackerel
- Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts
- Drink plenty of fluids – the government recommends 6-8 cups/glasses a day
Fruit and vegetables: are you getting your 5 a day?
Fruit and vegetables are a vital source of vitamins and minerals and should make up just over a third of the food we eat each day. It’s advised that we eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
The Food Pyramid
The food pyramid is designed to make healthy eating easier. Healthy eating is about getting the correct amount of nutrients – protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals you need to maintain good health.
Foods that contain the same type of nutrients are grouped together on each of the shelves of the Food Pyramid. This gives you a choice of different foods from which to choose a healthy diet. Following the Food Pyramid as a guide will help you get the right balance of nutritious food.