The principles of a healthy balanced diet explained

The principles of a healthy balanced diet:

A healthy balanced diet should aim to include a wide range of different foods from the four main food groups (bread, other cereals and potatoes, fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy foods, meat, fish and alternatives). The nutrients provided by these foods have specific functions in the body and are outlined below. Foods and drinks in the 'foods and drinks containing fat and/or sugar' food group add interest and enjoyment to our diet but should be eaten sparingly.

The principles of a healthly balanced diet explained

Food group Examples Quantity Main nutrients provided Top tips
Bread, other cereals and potatoes Bread, pasta, rice, breakfast cereals, potatoes, yams, plantain, cous cous etc These should be the main part of every meal (one third of meal) Carbohydrate
B vitamins
Dietary fibre
Try to eat brown, wholegrain or wholemeal varieties to increase fibre intake
Fruit and vegetables (fresh, frozen and canned) Oranges, apples, bananas, carrots, peas, tomatoes, kiwi, pineapple, cabbage, broccoli, grapes, lemons, aubergine, courgette etc These should be a main part of every meal and at least five servings should be consumed a day Vitamin C
Try to have different fruits and vegetables each day to provide a range of beneficial nutrients
Milk and dairy foods Milk, cheese, yogurt and fromage frais Three servings a day Calcium
Vitamin B12
Chose lower fat varieties if you are watching your wasteline!
Meat, fish and alternatives Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, beans, lentils, eggs and fish One or two servings a day Iron
B vitamins
Essential fats
Try to trim the fat from meats before cooking to reduce fat intake
Foods and drinks containing fat and/or sugar Crisps, fizzy drinks, sweets, butter, margarine, cakes and biscuits Should be consumed only in moderation Fats
Try not to drink sugary drinks between meals in order to protect teeth


The principles of a healthy balanced diet:
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