Common Health Questions

What is a healthy balanced diet?

The two keys to a healthy balanced diet are:

  • eating the right amount of food for how active you are, and
  • eating a range of foods – this is what balanced means

The range of foods in your diet should include:

  • plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • plenty of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods (choosing wholegrain varieties when possible)
  • some milk and dairy foods
  • some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
  • just a small amount of foods high in fat and sugar

For more information, see the eatwell plate that shows:

  • the different types of food you need to eat
  • how much of what you eat should come from each food group

Healthy eating tips

Eating well plays an important part in maintaining good health.

Below are eight practical tips that cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make healthier choices:

  • Base your meals on starchy foods as these give you energy.
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables every day. Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg a day.
  • Eat more fish. Eat at least two portions of fish every week, including one portion of oily fish like mackerel or sardines. If you’re vegetarian and don’t eat fish, see five essential nutrients for vegetarians for more information on a healthy vegetarian diet.
  • Cut down on saturated fat and sugar. .
  • Eat less salt – no more than 6g a day for adults. 
  • Get active and be a healthy weight. .
  • Drink plenty of water, about 6-8 glasses of water (or other fluids) every day.
  • Don’t skip breakfast. Always eat breakfast because it gives you the energy you need for the day.
Last Updated: 28 June 2013