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Balanced Diet - UK 5 Food Groups Print E-mail

chefplatesmallThe principle of maintaining a balanced and varied diet applies as much to vegetarians as to everyone else. It is important to eat foods from a variety of food groups - plenty of fruit, vegetables and starchy foods (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, for example), moderate amounts of high protein foods (these are likely to be your alternatives to meat and fish), dairy produce or alternatives, and only small amounts of fatty and sugary foods.

It is not necessary to 'ration' yourself on a daily basis - the idea is to follow a diet that is balanced over a longer time period. Eating the proportions of different food types described below, with plenty of variety, means that you shouldn’t have any problems achieving a healthy, balanced diet. 

Balance of Good Health

A “portion” would be counted as, for example, a slice of bread, an apple, a glass of milk or two tablespoons of baked beans. Remember that it’s the proportions that matter, so if you have a big appetite, increase the amount you eat across all categories, not just the fatty and sugary foods!
 

mixveg Fruit and Vegetables
5 portions a day. Fresh, frozen, juiced, tinned or dried fruit and vegetables are particularly good sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Watch out for added sugar in tinned fruits and juices - alternatives can be found such as tinned fruit in natural juice.

bowlslurp Bread, Cereals and Potatoes
5 portions a day. This includes such staples as rice, pasta, mealie meal etc. and will form the base of most of your meals. Use wholemeal or wholegrain versions as much as possible and avoid adding lots of fat. These foods give us carbohydrates for energy, fibre, protein and some vitamins and minerals.

vegbasket High Protein Foods
2-3 portions a day. Try to include a variety of pulses (such as beans, lentils, peas and chick peas), nuts, seeds, eggs, soya, mycoprotein (Quorn) or wheat proteins to give you plenty of protein, minerals and vitamins.

cheese Milk and Dairy Products
2-3 portions a day. Good sources of calcium, protein and some vitamins. If you are avoiding dairy foods try fortified soya, rice or oat drinks instead, or make sure that you eat other foods that are high in calcium.

cake Fatty and Sugary Foods
0-3 portions a day. Although we need to eat some fat in our diet, everyone needs to eat these foods sparingly and look out for low fat alternatives where appropriate.

 
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