The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you consume.
If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you will gain weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat too little, you will lose weight.
You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you are eating a balanced diet and getting all the nutrients your body needs.
It is recommended that men have about 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women need to have about 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kJ).
Most adults in the UK are eating more calories than they need and should eat fewer calories.
1. Base your meals on high-fiber starchy carbohydrates
Starchy carbohydrates should be more than one third of the food you eat. These include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals.
Choose higher fiber or whole grain varieties, such as walnut pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins.
They contain more fiber than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel more long-lasting.
Try to include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal. Some people think that starchy foods are fattening, but the amount of sugar they contain provides less than half the caloric fat.
Keep an eye on the fat you add when you cook or serve this type of food because it increases the amount of calories – for example, oil in chips, butter on bread and creamy sauce in pasta.
2. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables for healthy eating
You are advised to eat at least 5 portions of different varieties of fruits and vegetables every day. These can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juicy.
Finding your 5th day is as easy as it sounds. Don’t cut a banana on top of your breakfast cereal, or a piece of fresh fruit for your typical mid-morning snack?
A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables is 80 grams. A portion of dried fruit (which should be kept at meal time) 30 g.
150 ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie is also counted as 1 portion, but do not limit your intake to more than 1 glass per day as these drinks are sugary and can damage your teeth.
3. Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish for healthy eating
Fish is a good source of protein and contains lots of vitamins and minerals.
Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including at least 1 portion of oily fish.
Oily fish are high in omega-3 fats, which can help prevent heart disease.
Oily fish include:
Oily fish include:
Ley E. coli
You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned fish but keep in mind that canned and smoked fish may contain high amounts of salt.
Most people should eat more fish but there are recommended limits for certain types of fish.
Learn more about fish and shellfish
4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar for healthy eating
You need some fat in your diet but it is important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you are eating
There are 2 main types of fats: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood which increases your risk of heart disease.
On average, men should not have more than 30g of saturated fat per day. On average, women should not have more than 20g of saturated fat per day.
Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.
Many foods contain saturated fats such as:
Meat Fatty cuts of meat
• Hard cheese
Try to reduce your saturated fat intake and choose unsaturated fatty foods like vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados instead.
For healthier choices, use small amounts of vegetable or olive oil or butter, lard or ghee instead of low-fat spread.
When you are eating meat, choose fatty cuts and cut out any visible fat.
All types of fats are high in energy, so these should only be eaten in small amounts.
Regular consumption of regular foods and high levels of sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay.
Fragrant foods and beverages are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories) and can contribute to weight gain if consumed in large quantities. These can cause tooth decay, especially if eaten in meals.
Free sugars are sugars that are added to foods or beverages, or are found naturally in honey, syrups, and flavored fruit juices and smoothies.
This is the type of sugar you should cut rather than the sugar found in fruits and milk.
Lots of packaged foods and beverages
5. Eat less salt: No more than egg per day for adults
Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to have heart disease or have a stroke.
Even if you don’t add salt to your diet, you’re still eating too much.
About three-quarters of the salty foods you buy when you eat, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces, are already in the diet.
Use food labels to cut you off. More than 1.5 grams of salt per 100 grams means more salt in the diet.
Adults and children 11 years of age and older should not eat more than 6 grams of salt (about one teaspoon) a day. Younger children should have less.
Get tips on cutting salt in your diet
6. Be active and be a healthy weight
Eating healthy as well as exercising regularly can help reduce your risk of serious health conditions. It is also important for your overall health and well-being.
Read more about exercise benefits and physical activity guidelines for adults.
Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight can also affect your health.
Most adults need to lose weight by eating fewer calories.
If you are trying to lose weight, notice less eating and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Check if you are a healthy weight using the BMI Healthy Weight Calculator.
Start with the NHS Weight Loss Plan, a 12-week weight loss guide that combines healthy eating and physical activity advice.
If you are underweight, look for underweight adults. If you are worried about your weight, ask your GP or dietitian for advice.
7. Don’t get thirsty
You need to drink plenty of fluids to stop your dehydration. The government recommends drinking 6 to 8 glasses a day. This is in addition to the fluid you get from the food you eat.
All non-alcoholic beverages count but low sugar drinks including water, low fat milk and tea and coffee are healthy choices.
Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, as they are high in calories. These are also bad for your teeth.
Even free fruit juices and smoothies have high sugar content.
The total combined drinks from your fruit juices, vegetable juices and smoothies should not exceed one hundred and fifty milliliters a day, this is a small glass.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids during hot weather or during exercise.
8. Don’t skip breakfast
Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight.
However, a healthy breakfast with high levels of fiber and low fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet and help you get the nutrients you need for good health.
A whole green low sugar cereal with half-skimmed milk and fruits cut on top is a delicious and healthy breakfast.
At Eatwell Guide can basically help you get the right balance of the 5 main food groups. The guide shows you that what you eat should come from each food group.
Read more about eating a balanced diet and understanding calories.