The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.
You do not need to achieve this balance with every meal but try to get the balance right over a day or even a week.
Proportions and Portions - Eat well plate
The diagram shows the proportions of food that you should eat, not the amount.
Please use the quick link to explore the interactive Eatwell Guide
(Starchy and Sugary Foods)
Carbohydrate is an important source of energy. All carbohydrates that you eat and drink are broken down into glucose. It is only food containing carbohydrate that will directly affect blood glucose levels. There are two types of carbohydrate: Starchy and Sugary.
Base your meals on starchy foods - starchy foods include bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, grains and cereals. Although carbohydrate foods are healthy and should be eaten at each of your meals, consider the following points:-
Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy and affect blood glucose differently and can contribute to weight gain. They could also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten in-between meals. Cut down on sugary fizzy drinks, alcoholic drinks, cakes, biscuits and pastries which contain added sugars, this kind of sugar we should be cutting down rather than sugars that are found naturally in foods such as fruit and milk.
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables provide us with a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables and aim for five portions a day. See link below for hints and tips on how to achieve this.
Where one portion is..... 1 apple/1 banana/2 plums/2 kiwis/2satsumas/1 medium handful of strawberries or grapes/1slice of melon (2" thick etc.)
Ways to increase your fruit intake....
Ways to increase your vegetable intake....
Meat, Fish Poultry and Pulses - Protein
These foods are all good sources of protein, vitamins and minerals, including iron. They provide us with important nutrients for building healthy muscles, skin and other tissues of the body. We know that protein is an essential part of our diet, however, most of us eat larger amounts than our body requires. The aim would be to for two servings a day. One serving is.....
Where possible try to....
Eat more fish. Fish is a good source of protein and contains vitamins and minerals. Aim for at least two portions a week - one of which should be oily .Oily fish includes mackerel,sardines,salmon, pilchards and trout. Choose fish that is either fresh, frozen or tinned in brine, water or tomato sauce.
Cut down on saturated fat and sugar. Saturated fat is found in many foods such as hard cheeses, cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, butter, lard and pies. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
Dairy foods provide essential nutrients. Unfortunately they are often high in fat.
It is important to chose low fat dairy products wherever possible, this includes semi skimmed or skimmed milks, reduced fat cheese or cottage cheese and diet/healthy or light yoghurts.
Eat less salt. Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. Even if you do not add salt to your foods you may still be eating too much. Checking food labels can help you identify high salt foods.
More that 1.5g salt per 100g of a product indicates it is high in salt. 'Recommended 6g/day maximum'. It is important to note that 75% of the salt we consume comes from foods we eat, not from adding extra salt in cooking or at the table. For more information see www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/salt.aspx
Keep well hydrated. We need to drink 1-2 litres of fluid daily. All non-alcoholic drinks count.
Try to avoid drinks that are high in added sugar.
Do not miss breakfast. Research has shown that eating breakfast can help people to control their weight more successfully.
A healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet.