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Oxford City Council

PO Box 10, Oxford, OX1 1EN
Tel 01865 249811
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Health and social care

Healthy Eating

What is a balanced diet?

A well-balanced diet includes food from the five main food groups. These are:

  • bread, cereal (including breakfast cereals) and potatoes (starchy foods),
  • fruit (including fresh fruit juice) and vegetables,
  • meat and fish,
  • milk and dairy foods, and
  • fat and sugar

If I want to eat healthily, what general rules should I be following?

The Food Standards Agency suggests these 8 tips for eating well:

  • Base your meals on starchy foods e.g. bread, cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
  • Eat more fish
  • Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
  • Try to eat less salt - no more than 6g a day
  • Get active and try to be a healthy weight
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Don't skip breakfast

For more detailed information, visit the NHS Choices website.

What is the 5 A Day programme and where can I get information?

The average person in the UK eats less than 3 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, instead of the recommended 5. This is even lower amongst young people. The 5 A Day programme aims to change the way people think, and highlight the healthier benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables.

Eating more fruit and vegetables is essential for good health. The NHS lists 5 great reasons to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day:

  • They're packed with vitamins and minerals.
  • They can help you to maintain a healthy weight.
  • They're an excellent source of fibre and antioxidants.
  • They help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
  • They taste delicious and there's so much variety to choose from

Visit the 5 A Day pages on the NHS Choices website for more information on the 5 a day programme, what counts as a portion and some interesting recipes to make even the fussiest eaters enjoy their 5 fruit and vegetables a day. 

What is the best way to lose weight and get advice on eating healthily?

If you feel your health is suffering due to your weight or diet, visit your local GP (doctor) who will be able to help with advice or referral to specialist services. If you are not registered with a doctor, visit the GP search on the NHS Choices website to find your local GP surgery.

Visit the Weight Loss pages on the NHS Choices website for information on losing weight, keeping weight off and nutrition label information.

Page last updated 3 October 2014


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