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Eating for Health

tomatoesEating well can mean a lot of different things to different people. But it doesn't have to be complicated.

Broadly speaking it means eating in a way that:

  • Your weight remains normal – not too low and not too high
  • Your weight remains stable – not going up and down all the time
  • You get all the nutrients you need
  • Eating is an enjoyable experience

Healthy eating can be really straightforward.

A diet based on starchy foods such as rice and pasta, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, some protein-rich foods such as meat, fish and lentils, and some milk and dairy foods (and not too much fat, salt or sugar) will give you all the nutrients that you need.

Balance is the key to getting a healthy diet right. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions.

All the food we eat can be divided into five groups. In a healthy diet you eat the right balance of these groups.

They are:

  • Fruit and vegetables.
  • Starchy foods, such as rice, pasta, bread and potatoes. Choose wholegrain varieties whenever you can.
  • Meat, fish, eggs and beans.
  • Milk and dairy foods.
  • Some foods containing fat and sugar.

Most people in the UK eat too much fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables and fibre.

Eating well helps to prevent many diseases, including heart problems, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Eating well also makes us look and feel well. Healthy eating can help you manage your weight and will improve your overall feeling of wellbeing, as well as reducing your risk of developing serious illnesses.

Visit the Good Food pages on the NHS Choices website for lots of information and good advice on how you can make your diet healthier without losing any of the taste!


Last updated: 30 May 2012

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