What is a healthy diet?

A balanced diet

Good food is essential to good health, whatever age you are. Eating a balanced diet will not only keep you healthy but also reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

A healthy, balanced diet contains a variety of foods, including:

  • Plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Plenty of starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice
  • Some protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs and lentils
  • Some dairy foods

It should also be low in fat (especially saturated fat), salt and sugar.

The Eatwell Guide shows the different types of food we need to eat – and in what proportions – to have a well balanced and healthy diet.

Portions of fruit

 Top tips

  • Base meals on starchy foods
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables
  • Eat more fish
  • Cut down on fats and sugar
  • Cut down on salt
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat breakfast

Useful websites

Find out more about healthy eating on the NHS website and visit the Better Health - Healthier Families website to get ideas aimed at helping you and your family to lead a healthier life.

Healthy Start

Pregnant or have a child under the age of four? You may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk. If you are eligible, you'll be sent a Health Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. Visit the Healthy Start website for more information.

Your Wellbeing hub