No single food or drink contains all the essential nutrients your body needs, which is why variety is key. Eating a variety of different foods from each of the food groups helps us get the range of nutrients our bodies need.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet alongside being physically active can help us maintain a healthy weight.


  1. Fruit and vegetables - aim for a variety of  at least 5 portions daily. Fresh, frozen, canned and dried all count.

  2. Starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, yams – choose wholegrains or high fibre versions where possible, and keep skins on potatoes

  3. Dairy foods like milk, yoghurt and cheese or dairy alternatives – choose lower fat and lower sugar options

  4. Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other sources of protein – eat more beans and pulses, like lentils and chickpeas. Choose lean cuts of meat and eat less red and processed meat, and if possible eat at least two portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily like salmon or mackerel

  5. Oils and Spreads – choose oils such as vegetable or olive oil and spreads of these, and use in small amounts

    NOTE:  Foods and drinks high in fat, salt and/or sugar, like cakes, biscuts, sweets and crisps, are not necessary as part of a healthy, balanced diet, so eat these less often and in small amounts (43)