Top Tips For a Healthy and Balanced Diet
The Eatwell Guide has been created by Public Health England to show us what types and the proportion of different foods that should be included in the diet. We should aim to choose a variety of different foods from each of the groups as this will help us get a healthy and balanced diet.
To eat a healthy and balanced diet, we should:
- Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day - about a third of the food we eat each day should come from this food group.
- Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates; choosing wholegrain, higher fibre options where possible e.g. brown bread or pasta.
- Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks); choosing lower fat and lower sugar options.
- Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily e.g. salmon or tuna)
- Choose unsaturated oils and spreads such as olive oil and lower fat spreads over butter, and eat in small amounts.
- Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day, with sugary drinks being avoided.
If consuming foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar are not needed in the diet so we should try to have these less often and in small amounts.
For more information about eating a healthy and balanced diet visit: Eat Well Guide
How Many Calories Should You Be Consuming?
Our diets should provide us with enough energy to maintain an energy balance. This is where the number of calories we consume are the same as the ones we expend. If we consume more calories than we use, it can lead to weight gain. On average, women need 2000 kcal per day and men need 2500 kcal. If you are more physically active you will need to consume more calories and if you are less physically active you will need to consume fewer calories than recommended. Children should have less than 2000 kcal depending on their age. The government recommends that we should aim for ‘400-600-600’ to help you get the right amount of calories every day. This suggests that we eat 400 calories for breakfast, 600 calories for lunch and 600 calories for dinner, with any leftover calories being used for healthy drinks and snacks. By sticking to this guidance it can prevent us from consuming excess calories. Link to NHW lose weight page
Reference Nutrient Intakes
Reference intakes are a guidance on the maximum amount of calories and nutrients you should eat in a day. These values will change depending on your age, gender and activity level.
The reference intake percentage on the traffic light of products shows you how much of your reference intake each portion of that food contains. example helps them to do this e.g if a sandwich’s RI for salt is 50% this means it contains half your recommended maximum salt intake for one day.
For more information on reference nutrient intakes visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/what-are-reference-intakes-on-food-labels/
Where the Brand Fits, and How Can we Help?
All our recipes have been developed with our nutritionists to ensure they meet public health guidelines. All of our main meals are under 600kcal per serving, meet government salt guidelines and provide 1-2 serves of veg or tips to increase your veg intake.
It’s important to be able to read labels and make informed decisions about the food that we eat. Before consuming a product, always check the nutrition label. Checking the nutrition label is a good way to compare products, make healthier choices and eat a balanced diet.