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.