The Eatwell Guide
The Eatwell Guide divides the foods we eat and drink into 5 main food groups. It shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.
You do not need to achieve this balance with every meal, but try to get the balance right over a day or even a week.
The 5 main food groups are:
1. Fruit and Vegetables – Most of us still are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. They should make up over a third of the food we eat each day. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg each day. Choose from fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
2. Carbohydrates – Starchy food should make up just over a third of the food we eat. Choose higher fibre wholegrain varieties, such as whole wheat pasta and brown rice, or simply leave skins on potatoes. There are also higher fibre versions of white bread and pasta.
3. Dairy products – Milk, cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais are good sources of protein and some vitamins, and they’re also an important source of calcium, which helps keep our bones healthy. Try to go for lower-fat and lower-sugar products where possible, like 1% fat milk, reduced-fat cheese or plain low-fat yoghurt.
4. Proteins – These foods are good sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. Pulses, such as beans, peas and lentils, are good alternatives to meat because they’re lower in fat and higher in fibre and protein, too. Choose lean cuts of meat and mince, and eat less red and processed meat like bacon, ham and sausages. Aim for at least 2 portions of fish every week, 1 of which should be oily, such as salmon or mackerel.
5. Unsaturated fats – are healthier fats and include vegetable, rapeseed, olive and sunflower oils. Remember all types of fat are high in energy and should be eaten sparingly.