Healthy weight

Healthy eating and healthy weight

graphic showing someone eating a healthy diet

Eating a balanced diet is an important part of staying healthy. 

Healthy eating means eating lots of different foods in the right amounts to give your body the nutrients it needs to stay well and to have a healthy weight.

The eat well guide shows us how much of each food group we should have each day. 

Fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. 

Fruit and vegetables help us to stay well and help to prevent constipation

Eat a ‘rainbow’ mixture of fruit and vegetables; a variety of colours means a variety of vitamins and minerals. 

Aim to eat 5 portions of fruit & vegetable a day

A portion is

  • 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables
  • 30g of dried fruit – which should be kept to mealtimes
  • 150ml glass of fruit juice or smoothie – but do not have more than 1 portion a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage teeth
  • 1 apple, banana, pear or similar-sized fruit

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a good source of energy and should make up a third of what you eat each day.

Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta and brown rice. 

Examples of carbohydrates

  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Chapattis
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Dosa

Protein Foods

Your body needs protein to grow and repair.  Protein helps our body to stay healthy and helps us to recover from injuries.

Protein is needed to help repair and maintain your muscles.  There are many muscles involved in breathing and coughing which are important to keep your chest healthy.

Good sources of protein

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Daal
  • Chickpeas
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter

Milk and dairy foods (and alternatives)

Dairy products and some dairy alternatives are a good source of protein and calcium.  Calcium is important to keep your bones and teeth healthy.

If you are using dairy alternatives, ensure that they are fortified with calcium.

Dairy and dairy alternative products include:

  • Milk
  • Soy milk
  • Paneer
  • Lassi
  • Cheese
  • Yoghurt

Oils & Spreads

Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts.

Who can help advise you on your diet?

People with special dietary needs or a medical condition may need to ask their doctor or registered dietician for advice about getting the right nutrients

graphic showing dieticians and healthy diet advice

Maintaining a healthy weight

Being underweight or overweight is not good for your health.

BMI (Body Mass Index)

A BMI calculator uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy.  You can check your BMI below:

BMI calculator | Check your BMI – NHS | Please fill in your details (www.nhs.uk)

Your BMI result might not be accurate if you have certain conditions which affect your body composition – speak to a health care professional if you are not sure if your weight is healthy.

Please see the Risk Factors tab for more information about the risk factors for being overweight or underweight.

NHS The Eatwell Guide – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

British Dietetic Association All Food Fact pages | British Dietetic Association (BDA)