Healthy eating

Eating a balanced diet is a fundamental part of maintaining good health and supports us with feeling at our best. A varied, balanced, healthy diet:

  • helps us to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
  • improves our general sense of well-being
  • reduces the risk of many conditions including heart disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes and osteoporosis

Important: If you have any special dietary needs or a medical condition you should ask your GP practice or a registered dietitian for advice on eating well.

The five food groups

We need to include five food groups:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
  • Beans, pulses, eggs, meat and other proteins
  • Dairy and alternatives
  • Fats – oils and spreads

The Eat Well Guide opposite shows the proportion of each of these food groups you diet should generally be made up of.

If you choose a variety of foods from each of these groups, you can easily achieve a healthy balance. Foods high in fat, salt and sugars are not needed in the diet, so if you do choose to include them, then try to have them less often and in smaller amounts.


Source: Public Health England in association with the Welsh Government, Food Standards Scotland and the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland © Crown copyright 2016

Tips and resources for healthy eating

NHS 8 tips for healthy eating

Covering the basics of healthy eating, helping you to make healthier choices.

British Dietetic Association

Comprehensive range of food facts sheets on a wide range of nutrition topics

NHS Eat Well

Information, advice and resources on diet, recipes, nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight

British Nutrition Foundation

Wealth of information and resources including meal plans, portion sizes, tips for heart health

Oviva programme

Approved by the NHS, get support to change your behaviour for the better with personalised expert care at home, at a time that works for you.

SugarMeDown app

NHS approved app that helps you to reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet

Wellness That Works podcast

WeightWatchers podcast to help you build healthy habits, whether that means eating better, moving more, shifting your mindset…or all of the above!

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