Students' Zone

 

What is a balanced diet?

The eatwell plate shows food is split into five categories according to how much of the diet they should make up.

The eatwell plate

This plate shows:

  • Carbohydrates such as bread, cereals, potatoes, rice, pasta (33%)
  • Fruit and vegetables (33%)
  • Dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese (15%)
  • Protein sources such as meat, fish, eggs, pulses, beans, and nuts (12%)
  • Treats high in fat and/or sugar (8%)

A healthy diet contains a balanced mix of food types. It is unlikely that anyone will get the balance shown on the plate at every meal, or even everyday, but we should aim to eat food in these quantities over a week.

To get the right balance shown on the plate, start thinking about meals in terms of the carbohydrate you are going to eat, then add fruit and vegetables and a small amount of protein or dairy. Although most people should aim to reduce the amount of fat they eat, fat is an important part of our diet so don't try to avoid it altogether. Some vitamins from fruit and vegetables can only be absorbed by the body if eaten with a small amount of fat.

Occasionally, as a treat, you can eat small amounts of foods high in saturated fat, sugar, or salt e.g. crisps and fizzy drinks.

To get the right balance shown on the plate, start thinking about meals in terms of the carbohydrate you are going to eat, then add fruit and vegetables and a small amount of protein or dairy. Although most people should aim to reduce the amount of fat they eat, fat is an important part of our diet so don't try to avoid it altogether. Some vitamins from fruit and vegetables can only be absorbed by the body if eaten with a small amount of fat.

Occasionally, as a treat, you can eat small amounts of foods high in saturated fat, sugar, or salt e.g. crisps and fizzy drinks.

Planning a meal?

Think which carbohydrate should I use?
Which vegetables or fruits should I eat?
Then add a little protein or dairy.