Healthy eating is important if we want
to look after our bodies and make sure we have a good balanced diet. Eating is a very enjoyable
part of our life. It doesn't mean you have to give up all the nice food that you like such as
sweets, chocolate and cheese. It just means getting the right
There are many different types of food and
all of them provide essential nutrients and vitamins to make the body work. Whilst many people turn
to diets in order to reduce the weight, these are often short lived and do not necessarily change
our long term behaviour and habits. For the majority of people this means that any weight lost is
quickly regained as people revert to their old eating habits.
The Balance of Good Health is a pictorial food
guide showing the proportion and types of foods that are needed to make up a healthy balanced diet.
The Balance of Good Health has been produced by the Food Standards Agency as a guide that aims to
help people to understand and enjoy healthy eating. It is achieving the right balance and variety
of foods that is important for health.
The types of food we eat can be divided into several categories; milk
and dairy foods; meat, fish and alternatives; foods containing fat and foods containing sugar.
Foods from the largest groups should be eaten most often and foods from the smallest group should
be eaten least often. The guide is shaped like a dinner plate which has been designed to make it
easier for people to understand the proportion of foods needed.
Fruit and vegetables
- These types of food are very important in our
diet. The Department of Health recommends that we eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables
every day so that we reduce the risk of getting heart disease and some cancers.
Bread, cereals and potatoes
- These types of food are known as starchy foods
and should make up a large part of our diet. We must be careful though, because if we add oil to
fry food like chips or lots of butter to bread we increase the fat content. These types of foods
include; bread, rolls, pizza, pasta, rice, oats and noodles
Milk and dairy products
- These types of
foods contain calcium, which is vital for keeping our bones
strong and healthy. These foods include
Milk, cheese and yoghurt.
Meat and fish
- These foods provide plenty of protein which is
needed for growth and repairing the body. These types of foods include beef, pork, ham, lamb,
chicken and fish.