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A balanced mix of foods

So, to meet the body’s nutritional requirements, your diet should ideally contain a balanced mix of foods from the following groups (the percentages are a guide) and approximately two litres of water taken throughout the day.

  • 30% – Fruit and vegetables – eat plenty of these with at least five portions a day
  • 30% – Bread (preferably wholemeal), pasta and rice – eat plenty of these, making them the main part of every meal
  • 15% – Milk and dairy foods – eat moderate amounts, choosing lower fat versions whenever you can
  • 15% – A balance of meat (white rather than red), fish, and meat substitutes such as eggs, lentils, beans (pulses), nuts and textured vegetable protein (TVP) – eat moderate amounts whenever you can
  • 10% – Foods high fat and sugar – eat these in small amounts and/or not very often

When making changes to your diet the following guide may be helpful:

  • Eat more of these…
    Apples, bananas, beans, beetroot, bread, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cereals, cottage cheese, cucumber, dried fruit, fish, fresh herbs, fruit, fruit juice (unsweetened), lentils, lettuce, mangetout, mushrooms, onions, pasta, peas, peppers, rice, spinach, sugar snaps, skimmed milk, sweetcorn, tomatoes.
  • Eat these in moderation, choosing lower fat versions wherever possible…
    Avocado, baked beans (unsweetened), cheese, eggs, honey, mayonnaise (low fat/diet), meat (red and white), nuts (unsalted), potatoes, prawns, pulses, semi-skimmed milk, yoghurt (low fat).
  • Eat less of these…
    Alcohol, bacon, biscuits, butter, cakes, canned drinks, cereals (sweetened), chips, chocolate, cream, crisps, doughnuts, fatty meat, fried foods, fruit juice (sweetened), full-cream milk, ice cream, jams or conserves, marmalade, mayonnaise, oily salad dressings, pastry, paté, peanut butter, puddings, salad cream, salami, salted nuts, sauces, sausages, sour cream, sugar, sweets, syrup.

The Eatwell Guide | NHS
The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.

Live Well | NHS
 Eating a balanced diet | NHS
 The Eatwell Guide | NHS
 Food and nutrition | NHS inform (Scotland)
Healthy eating | British Heart Foundation
Diet (Nutrition) | Wikipedia
A healthy, balanced diet | British Nutrition Foundation
What is a healthy, balanced diet for diabetes? | Diabetes UK

What is a balanced diet? | BBC Bitesize | 58s

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