What is a balanced diet?

 

All of us today are facing an increasing array of nutritional challenges due to the way in which we eat; what we eat; how much we eat; and the way that we live our lives. Eating a healthier diet may sound daunting, but for many, just a few small changes can make a big difference to our overall health – and you don’t need to compromise on taste and enjoyment.

The two key steps to healthier eating are: to eat a healthy balanced diet and to eat the right amount for the level of activity that you do each day in order to avoid unwanted weight gain. By making healthier, good food choices you are more likely to:

  • Feel and look great
  • Meet your daily nutritional needs for nutrients, including essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
  • Provide a boost to your immunity helping to fight off coughs, colds and other everyday bugs
  • Be better able to control your weight
  • Lower your risk of developing serious illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes or cancers

But healthy eating is just one part of the jigsaw. Keeping active as part of your daily life, is also an important part of keeping well and taking care of yourself.

We can help you to make good food choices by:

  • Providing you with lots of useful information on the nutrition content of our products – both on this website and on our food and drinks packaging
  • Providing you with information about healthy eating and tips on how you can make healthier choices

Healthy eating is all a question of balance – enjoying a variety of delicious foods, so you get all the key nutrients you need, while eating these in the right amounts to match how active we are each day. No single food or drink can provide all the nutrients for a healthy body, which is why we need to eat a balanced diet containing a variety of foods. Healthy eating doesn’t mean avoiding your favourite foods; it’s about striking a healthy balance. If you choose treats at one meal or snack then look for healthier choices at the next.

Drinks are also important to provide fluid, vital to our body's health. Around two thirds of our bodies are actually water and our level of hydration fluctuates constantly. Water plays a vital role in how well our body functions, particularly the brain and control of body temperature. Even slight dehydration can affect both your mental and physical performance. We get water from both the fluids we drink and the foods we eat, with around one fifth of our daily water coming from foods and the remainder from the fluids that we drink.

Try to keep active in your daily life too. You could join the local gym, or other types of exercise can include dancing, gardening, cycling, playing with the children and even housework! Walk whenever you have the chance, it’s free and if you head off with a friend it gives you an ideal chance to catch up too.

As well as choosing a wide range of foods, it’s important to think of the amount of food we are eating. Find out more with The Eat Well Plate.