What is a healthy diet?

A balanced diet

Good food is essential to good health, whatever age you are. Eating a balanced diet will not only keep you healthy but also reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

A healthy, balanced diet contains a variety of foods, including:

  • Plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Plenty of starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice
  • Some protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs and lentils
  • Some dairy foods

It should also be low in fat (especially saturated fat), salt and sugar.

The Eatwell Guide shows the different types of food we need to eat – and in what proportions – to have a well balanced and healthy diet.

Portions of fruit

 Top tips

  • Base meals on starchy foods
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables
  • Eat more fish
  • Cut down on fats and sugar
  • Cut down on salt
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat breakfast

Useful websites

Find out more about healthy eating on the NHS website and visit the Change4Life website to get ideas aimed at helping you and your family to lead a healthier life.

Healthy Start

Pregnant or have children under the age of four? You could qualify if you're on benefits, or if you're pregnant and under 18.  Healthy Start provides free weekly vouchers to help buy fruit, vegetables, pulses, milk, formula milk and also coupons for free vitamins. Visit the Healthy Start website for more information.

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