Balanced Diet

Top tips and facts for a balanced diet

Consuming the right balance of foods will help you gain all of the nutrients your body needs to remain healthy.

In order to consume a balanced diet for good health, try to include:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables a day
  • Carbohydrates (starchy foods): Consume a range of carbohydrates including wholegrain bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta and potatoes
  • Milk and dairy foods: Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks and yoghurts). Choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options
  • Protein sources: Include beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein sources in every meal where possible. Aim for two portions of fish every week – one of which should be oily, such as salmon or mackerel
  • Processed foods high in fat and sugar: Limit or avoid foods processed foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar, and have little to no nutritional value, such as sweets, crisps, soft drinks, biscuits and cakes
  • Include a range of natural fats and oils, such as olive oil and butter, in small amounts
  • Drink plenty of fluids – water is best

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

Top facts/tips about fruit & veg
  • For many fruits and vegetables, the skin, or flesh closest to it, contains the most nutrients – apple skins, and white pith in citrus fruits, are rich in antioxidants.
  • Cooking methods can affect the amount of nutrients you absorb from vegetables. Nutrients are lost through over-cooking as well as boiling in large volumes of water.
  • Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to be expensive. There are lots of affordable ways to get your five a day.
  • Why not try growing your own? There are lots of helpful tips on growing your own fruits and vegetables here, plus we have some useful information to guide you on what’s in season, and local allotment schemes to suit you.
Top tip about carbohydrates

Consume potatoes with their skins on for more fibre and also for a slower-releasing, more complex, carbohydrate!

Top tips about milk & dairy foods

Fruit yoghurts can contain a lot of added sugar. Why not try low-fat natural yoghurt with some berries and a little honey – that way you have more control over the sugar that goes in!

Protein top tip

Research has shown that protein can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, and can therefore reduce cravings throughout the day. Try to ensure you consume some protein with each meal. Great protein-rich snacks include low-fat hummus with vegetable sticks and unsalted nuts.

Processed foods high in fat and sugar

Foods that are high in fat and sugar should be consumed in moderation, as they often have limited nutritional value, and contain a lot of calories, which can easily contribute to weight gain.

Top tip– For a sweet fix, why not try making a batch of these healthier date & oat flapjacks, from BBC Good Food, for wholesome and nutritious treats that last all week, or take a look at our recipes in our Eatwell section for some inspiration.

Resources
  • Find out more about healthy eating and recipes.
  • Nutritionist Resource believes that healthy eating could hold the key to a long and healthy life, which is why they have established a website that provides the public with easy access to nutritional advice.
    To ensure the professionalism of the website, all listed nutritionists have provided their qualifications and insurance cover or proof of membership with a professional body upon registering. 

Livewell Partners