What's A Balanced Diet?

Eating a balanced diet will give you all the nutrients and energy you need to keep your body strong, healthy and active. To eat a balanced diet you need to eat a variety of foods from each food group in the right amounts.

Let's take a look at the food groups now

1. Fruit and Vegetables

Should make up about a third of what you eat each day, in fact you should aim to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. You can eat them as part of every meal or snack on them in between meals if you are hungry.

Fruit and vegetables contain a huge range of vitamins and minerals which all perform different jobs in your body, such as protecting your skin, fighting infections and making your bones and teeth strong. They also contain fibre which keeps your digestive system healthy and makes you feel full up for longer.

2. Bread, Potatoes, Pasta and Rice

This food group provides carbohydrates which are the main source of energy for your body and should make about a third of your daily diet. Your body needs carbohydrates to grow and be active. Starchy carbohydrates are also very filling so it's good to eat some in every meal to stop you feeling hungry between meals.

Wholegrain foods such as brown rice, brown pasta and brown bread contain more fibre and nutrients than white rice, pasta and bread.

The final third of your diet should be made of the following food groups. We don’t need to eat as much of them, but they are still an important part of a balanced diet.

3. Milk and Dairy Products

Milk and other dairy products such yoghurt and cheese contain iron and calcium which help keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy. You shouldn’t drink too much full fat milk or eat too much cheese because they can contain a lot of fat, but in moderation they are an important part of a balanced diet.

4. Meat, Fish and Eggs

Meat, fish and eggs are all great sources of protein. Protein are the building blocks of our body and are used in a number of ways to keep us healthy such as repairing damaged tissues, growing, building muscles and giving us energy.

If you are vegetarian, beans, peas, nuts and seeds are also a good source of protein.

5. Fatty and Sugary Foods

This group should really only be eaten as a treat. Sugary foods are also very bad for our teeth whilst eating too much fatty food such as doughnuts, fried chips or chocolate can make us put on weight. Some foods such as crisps are also bad for us because they contain a lot of salt. Although we need a little salt in our diet, eating too much of it is bad for us.

One thing all these fatty and sugary foods have in common is that they contain very little goodness such as vitamins or fibre.

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