Get the facts: What makes a healthy balanced diet?

Whoever said ‘you are what you eat ‘ may not have realised how right they were. These days, experts are lone excessively aware of the importance of eating a healthy, balance diet. not only does eating healthily make you feel and look better, it can besides help reduce your gamble of a range of medical problems and improve your productiveness .
But with so much advice and data out there about what it means to eat healthily, it can be unmanageable to put good intentions into exercise .
Our advice ? Keep it simple. Behind the overplus of advice and data out there, there are a few basic facts. Basing your meal plans on these facts will ensure you ‘re eating a goodly, balanced diet that will keep you feeling good at heart and out .
Turn these facts into healthy habits. Visit our physical wellbeing web site for practical tips, ideas and resources to help you eat well, move more and get the remainder you need.


however healthy your diet, by eating excessively much ( or indeed, besides little ) – you could be compromising your health. The trick is to know how many calories your body needs, and then to keep a track of how many you ‘re eating .
According to the NHS, most men need around 2,500 calories a day to maintain their weight, whereas most women need 2,000. however, if you ‘re not peculiarly active, you may need fewer ( or more, if you do a lot of exert or have a physically arduous job ) .
If you want to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your body needs. Experts reckon reducing your day by day calories to 1,900 if you ‘re a serviceman and 1,400 if you ‘re a womanhood will result in a safe, sustainable 1-2lb weight loss per week .
so now we know how many calories we should be eating, what should we be eating ?

Fruit and veg

A third of the food you eat each day should be fruit or vegetables. Aiming for five portions of fruit or vegetable each sidereal day should help you achieve this, and ensure you ‘re adding batch of vitamins and minerals to your diet. That could include fresh, dried, tinned or freeze fruit and vegetable .

What does a portion of fruit or veg look like?

  • 80g fresh fruit or veg
  • 30g dried fruit or veg
  • 150ml fruit or vegetable juice

A smoothie

The output of fruit juice and smoothies removes most of the healthy character found in solid fruit. This means that the fructose ( boodle ) in the fruit is absorbed into your blood stream much more quickly. Experts recommend sticking to merely one helping of fruit juice or smoothie each day, possibly just before a period of physical activeness when your body will benefit from an energy hike .
Try to make indisputable you eat a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetable every day – the dark or brighter the color, the better. so go for vegetable such as brilliantly coloured peppers, tomatoes, beetroot, carrots and sweetness potato, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as yield such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and mango .
While both are healthy, yield is naturally higher in carbohydrate indeed try to eat more vegetable than you do fruit .

3 days of 5 a day

Day 1

2 plums, 7 cherry tomatoes, 2 broccoli spears, 3 heaped tbsp. of peas, 2 slices of mango

Day 2

7 strawberries, 1 medium tomato, 5cm objet d’art of cucumber, 4 heaped tbsp. of green beans, 1 apple

Day 3

2 figs, 1 banana, 3 heaped tbsp. of sweetcorn, 8 cauliflower florets, 1 pear
Remember : Potatoes do n’t count towards your 5 a day !


Carbohydrates or starchy foods are the body ‘s main source of fuel so they are an substantive part of any healthy, balance diet. According to Public Health England ‘s Eatwell plate, a third of everything you eat should be made up of starchy foods such as bread, oats, rice, potatoes, barley, couscous and pasta .

What does a portion of carbohydrates look like?

  • 1 medium slice of bread
  • 2 egg-sized potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of breakfast cereal
  • 2 heaped tbsp rice

Try to choose wholegrain versions wherever possible, as they contain more nutrients and fiber than the white varieties, and consume potatoes with their skins on to make your diet even healthier .

Why wholegrain?

Any character that can not be digested helps us to feel broad and keeps our digestive systems running smoothly. Wholegrain foods tend to contain higher levels of this kind of character .

There are two types of carbohydrates:

elementary carbohydrates release boodle promptly and provide an immediate beginning of energy. This makes them an ideal nosh fair ahead or after the gymnasium to provide you with a promote or replenish your energy levels. Examples of simple carbohydrates include : pasta, rice, biscuits, white and wheaten bread and fruits without a skin such as bananas and berries .
complex carbohydrates release department of energy in the form of carbohydrate at a much lower rate. This makes them ideal for anyone with a more sedentary act. Examples of complex carbohydrates include : seeded or granary bread, oats, nuts, seeds, beans, peas and lentils, sweet potato, sweetcorn and yield with a skin such as apples and pears .

Skin on or off?

Fruits that have a peel such as apples and pears contain more fiber, which slows down the free of sugar. You can slow down the let go of of sugar by combining a fruit bite with nuts and seeds .
Understanding the dispute between bare and complex carbohydrates allows you to use food more efficiently to control your energy levels throughout the day. It ‘s not barely about what you ‘re eating but when you ‘re eating it – do you need that quick liberation of boodle or are you going to be sat at your desk for the future few hours ?


Protein is essential for building muscle, unsusceptibility, weave compensate and hormone conveyance. It besides releases sugar lento helping you feel wide for longer and improving your energy levels, mood and concentration .
Try to eat two to three portions of protein per day. ideally, it should be the key ingredient of every meal .

Why is protein so important?

Protein is made up of amino acids. There are 22 different kinds of amino acids, all of which are essential for the body. however there are nine amino acids that your soundbox can entirely find in food.

Read more: ED

kernel is a good source of protein but where possible choose lean cuts of kernel and try to avoid red or processed kernel such as bacon and sausages, which have been associated with sealed types of cancer. Pulses such as beans, peas and lentils are good options because they ‘re lower in fat and higher in fiber and protein than meat sources .
Pulses are a particularly significant source of protein for vegans. Lentils, grains, nuts, seeds, peas and beans all contain amino acids, which your body needs for things like cell, weave and muscleman construction or repair. however, some contain lone small amounts of one amino acerb and high amounts of others. then, it ‘s significant to combine at least two of these food types to ensure your torso gets all the protein it needs to perform necessity functions .
Your protein intake should besides include two portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily fish such as herring, pilchards, sardines, mackerel, salmon, fresh ( not tinned ) tuna and trout. buttery pisces are fat in a type of polyunsaturated fat called omega-3 fatty acid fatty acids. This type of fatness is thought to be particularly beneficial for your heart because it can improve your cholesterol levels .

What does a portion of protein look like?

  • 3 slices of lean meat
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp cooked beans or lentils
  • 120g tuna
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter

Milk and dairy foods

Foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese and fromage frais are adept sources of protein and calcium – the nutrients your body needs to stay impregnable and healthy. Experts advise choosing fatness free versions as they contain just adenine much protein and calcium with less heart-damaging fat and fewer calories. Use butter and skim meagerly, as both are high in fat and calories .
If you ‘re allergic to or do n’t like milk or dairy foods, you can get the calcium your body needs by eating alternative foods such as benighted green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, sardines, figs and fortified soya milk products .
Aim for two to three portions of milk and dairy foods every day .

What does a portion of dairy food look like?

  • 200 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 matchbox-sized piece of cheese
  • 3 tbsp cottage cheese
  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt


If you eat besides much sugar – either by adding sugar to what you eat and drink or by eating processed foods and drinks that contain sugar, such as biscuits, cakes, sweets, chocolate and fizzing colas – cutting down can have a dramatic consequence on your calorie intake. It can besides help you to stabilise your lineage sugar levels, which may reduce your hazard of diabetes and heart disease .

Healthy versus unhealthy sugar

There are natural sources of boodle, which, while still needed lone in moderation are a healthy option to refined and processed sugars. Examples include beloved, coconut, agave and fruit .
ideally, try not to eat more than one parcel of sugary foods a day. fortune examples include two plain biscuits or a little measure of cocoa .


Our bodies need fatty for all-important cell protection and sign. But is n’t fatty bad for you ?

Saturated fats

These fats tend to be found in animal products, butter, ghee, margarine, dairy fats and other processed foods such as pies, pastries and cakes. They are thought to be bad for your health because they may increase your cholesterol levels. Experts recommend that you aim for no more than 30g of saturated adipose tissue a day if you ‘re a man and no more than 20g if you ‘re a woman .

Unsaturated fats

These fats are found in oily pisces, nuts, seeds, olive oil and some fruit and vegetables such as avocadoes and are thought to help lower your cholesterol .
You could try swapping saturated for unsaturated fats by using vegetable, seed and en oils alternatively of lard, butter or margarine, and choosing fat complimentary dairy foods rather of full-fat ones .
Whatever the type of fat, eating besides a lot of it can lead to system of weights gain, since foods eminent in fat are besides high in calories .
As a general convention, constantly check the nutriment labels on your foods and stick to those that contain less than 3g total fatness per 100g ( and less than 1g saturated fat per 100g ). If a food has more than 20g sum fatten and 5g saturated fat per 100g, avoid it or eat it meagerly .
Grilling rather of frying can besides help you use less fatness in cook .


The more salt you eat, the higher your lineage pressure will be. That ‘s because excess salt causes your body to retain more fluid. And that means your risk of heart disease and stroke will be higher besides. Try to make sure you eat no more than 6gor 1 tsp of salt a sidereal day ( 3g for children ) .

Check your food labels

Some food labels country the measure of sodium in food, rather than salt ( 2.4g of sodium is the equivalent of 6g salt ). If a label says a food has 0.3g or less of salt per 100g ( or 0.1g sodium ), it means it ‘s low in strategic arms limitation talks and you can eat plenty of it. But try to avoid anything that contains 1.5g or more salt ( 0.6g sodium ) per 100g .


Around two-thirds of the human body is composed of water, so you should make sure you drink enough to make certain your body is working efficiently and you ‘re not becoming dehydrated .
According to the european Food Safety Authority, men should drink two litres of fluids a sidereal day and women 1.6 litres ( or more when you ‘re exercising or in hot upwind ) .
All drinks count when it comes to your day by day fluid intake, not merely water. You could include de-caffeinated tea and chocolate, though urine, milk and depleted sugar fruit juices are considered the healthiest things to drink .

Are you dehydrated?

The color of your urine is your personal guide to how a lot fluid you should be drinking daily. ideally, it should be a pale yellow champagne color. If it ‘s much darker than this, you need to drink more water .


Drinking excessively a lot alcohol can affect your health in several ways. It can damage your liver, cause high gear rake atmospheric pressure and abnormal heart rhythm. And if you drink more than the recommend sum, you could gain weight excessively, as alcohol is high gear in calories. For example, one pint of cider contains around 230 calories .
Drinking in moderation means sticking to current guidelines for alcohol, which are two to three units a day for women and three to four for men, with at least a couple of alcohol-free days a week ( a unit equals one little glass of wine, half a pint of normal persuasiveness laager, cider or beer, or a single public house measuring stick of spirits ). And if you do have besides much to drink, avoid any more alcohol for at least 48 hours to give your body time to recover.

Find out more about how alcohol affects you and how you can keep traverse of your units by visiting the Drinkaware web site .

How CABA can help

The confidential to a sustainable, healthy life style is keeping things childlike and being realistic. Rather than trying to make drastic changes all at once, focus on build simple healthy habits, one measure at a time. That’s where we can help. Visit our physical wellbeing web site to access our exempt toolkits for better physical health .
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