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For a healthy, balanced diet, you need to eat the right amount and range of foods. It can boost your health, save you money and improve your lifestyle.

Remember that to have a healthy diet you should eat:

  • plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • plenty of starchy foods such as rice, bread, pasta, potatoes (try to choose wholegrain varieties when you can)
  • some protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs and pulses
  • some milk and dairy foods
  • just a small amount of foods high in fat, salt and sugar.

It's also important to eat a variety of foods to make sure we get all the nutrients our bodies need.

You don't have to make drastic changes to improve your diet. Small changes can make a big impact. 

  • watch your portion size
  • drink lots of water
  • choose wholegrain or wholemeal bread, pasta or rice
  • don't automatically add salt, sugar, butter, mayonnaise or other dressings
  • choose low fat or reduced fat options in dairy products or dressings
  • choose leaner cuts of meat and trim off all visible fat
  • bulk out meat stews, casseroles or sauces with vegetables
  • eat more fish, especially oily fish
  • add salad to sandwiches
  • choose fruit-based desserts
  • use herbs, spices or onions to flavour food, instead of salt
  • use non-stick pans so you don't need to use as much fat when cooking
  • replace saturated fats like butter and lard with margarine and olive oil, and use sparingly
  • avoid frying and grill, bake, boil or steam food instead
  • drain off any excess fat after cooking.

For more information on diet and nutrition visit the NHS Choices website.

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