A Simple Guide To Eating Well
Healthy Foods To Eat
To have a healthy, balanced, sustainable diet it is important to eat the right foods in the right proportions. This guide is designed to give you a better understanding of the types of food and the quantities you should be eating on a daily basis to ensure optimal health.
Fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables should make up a little over a third of all the food you eat per day.
- Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day (a variety is best)
- Frozen, dried, tinned and fresh are all acceptable, as are unsweetened juices and/or smoothies
Daily Portion Size
Frozen, tinned and fresh portion = 80g
Dried fruit portion = 80g
Unsweetened juices and/or smoothies = 150ml (due to sugar content)
Be sure that the tinned fruit and vegetables don’t contain added salt, sugar or syrups and avoid adding sauces and/or butter to your fresh vegetables.
Starchy Carbohydrates – Potatoes, Pasta, Bread, Rice And Others
A little over a third of the food we eat should be made up of starchy foods
- Leave the skins on your potatoes for added nutrition
- Try to eat high fiber or whole grain pasta, rice and breads – wholegrain foods contain more fiber, vitamins and minerals
- Some other good starchy carbohydrates include things like porridge, breakfast cereals, plantains and yams
Dairy And Alternatives
Milk, yogurt, cheese; things like quark (low fat soft cheese), fromage frais and non-dairy alternative foods are also included here.
- Try to eat low fat and low sugar products, especially milk and cheese. If you must eat full fat or sugary products have them less often and in smaller amounts
- If you use a dairy alternative like rice, soya or oat milk try to choose the calcium fortified and unsweetened brands
Beans, Pulses, Fish, Eggs, Meat And Other Proteins
This food group is a great source of vitamins, minerals and proteins.
- Try to cut down on red meats (70g per day max)
- Try to cut down on processed and cured meats such as bacon and sausages (70g per day max)
- When eating meat and poultry remove all visible fat and take off the skin
- A good alternative to meat are beans and pulses, they are high in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, but low in fat
- Eat at least two portions of fish per week (make one oily)
Oils And Spreads
Certain fats are essential in a healthy diet, but saturated fat is not one of them.
- Instead of using saturated fats like butter or lard try using unsaturated oils such as olive, sunflower or rapeseed oils, and use low fat unsaturated spreads.
Cutting down on high energy foods such as saturated fats can help you lose and/or maintain a healthy weight
Foods To Eat Less Often And In Small Amounts
These foods and drinks are commonly referred to as junk food, they are high in sugar, high in fat and are not necessary in a diet.
These foods include things like pastries, biscuits, cakes, puddings, crisps, sweets, jam, honey, chocolate, ice cream, cream, butter and mayonnaise
For hydration water, sugar free drinks, including coffee and tea, and low fat milk are all included.
You should be drinking 6 to 8 glasses of fluid per day (limit smoothies and fruit juices to 150ml per day)
Food labeling is important to help you buy the right foods for your dietary needs. They are a visible reminder of the amount of sugars, fats (including saturated), salt and overall calories contained in the product.
Most countries have strict rules on what must be included on a products label.
Get more information on food labelling
Recommended Daily Intake
For the recommended daily intake of all foods, for all people of all ages, download the pdf chart here