Healthy eatingTo achieve a healthy, balanced diet, you must eat the right amount and range of foods.
Doing this can boost your health, save you money and improve your lifestyle.
A healthy diet contains a variety of foods, including:
- starchy foods, such as rice, pasta, potatoes, wholemeal bread and cereals
- protein-rich foods, like meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and pulses
- some dairy products
- small amounts of saturated fat, salt and sugar.
- watch your portion size
- drink lots of water
- choose wholegrain or wholemeal bread, pasta or rice
- donít 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 donít 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.
- Soups make a filling starter and can be a great way of getting some of your five a day. Stick to broths and avoid 'cream of' soups which are higher in fat.
- Ask for your sauce or dressing on the side. This way you can add as little as you like.
- Skip the calorie-laden bread basket.
- Opt for fruit based starters if on the menu, for example melon.
- Go for a salad based starter and ask for the dressing on the side. Alternatively, opt for the lower fat dressing based on healthier fats such as olive oil.
- Opt for boiled rice instead of fried rice. Choose brown rice if it's on offer as it's higher in fibre.
- Choose boiled or baked potatoes instead of chips or creamy mash. Alternatively, ask for sweet potato or squash which count towards your five a day. If going for chips choose the thick cut variety because they absorb less fat.
- Don't add extra butter to your potatoes because they are normally cooked with extra fat.
- Order plenty of vegetables with your main meal for added nutrients.
- Avoid creamy sauces and opt for tomato-based ones if possible.
- Steer clear of high fat foods such as pastries and pies.
- Choose fish as an alternative to meat as it's very low in fat. Opt for breaded, grilled, steamed or baked fish instead of battered.
- Opt for pasta, noodles, rice or other grains for your main course such as couscous, bulgar wheat, beans or pulses if on offer.
- Order vegetables or salad as your side.
- Choose a dessert which is rich in fruit such as fruit crumble or even better, a fresh fruit salad.
- Ask for cream, ice-cream or sauce on the side.
- Opt for sorbet as an alternative to ice-cream or cream.
- Avoid deep fried desserts.
- Avoid pastry based desserts.
- Opt for reduced fat varieties of ice-cream, yoghurts and low fat frozen yoghurt.
- Try compromising with tea or coffee and a biscuit and keep desserts as a real treat.