极电竞app
极电竞app
极电竞app
极电竞app
极电竞app
  • Nutrition

A balanced diet & the five food groups

The Eatwell Guide is the government’s guidance on what a nutritionally balanced diet looks like. It is made up of five food groups that provide us with the different nutrients we need to stay healthy and strong. It’s important to eat a variety of foods, so we get all the nutrients our bodies need to function properly. The Eatwell Guide is divided into over a third of vegetables and fruit; over a third of starchy carbohydrates; and the remainder is split between protein, dairy (or dairy alternatives), and a small amount of healthy fats.

It’s unlikely that each meal will include all five food groups. The aim is to achieve a balance across the day or across the week.

Vegetables & fruit

Such as: apples, bananas, broccoli, carrots, lettuce.

A great source of vitamins and minerals, which our bodies need to stay healthy.
Choose a range of colours to get the best range of nutrients.

Find out more about Vegetables & fruit

Starchy carbohydrates

Such as: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes

The body’s main source of energy. Choose wholegrain varieties where possible to maintain digestive health and give you more fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Learn all about starchy carbs

Protein

Such as: beans, fish, eggs, meat, nuts, tofu

Helps our muscles grow and repair. Vary your proteins and include vegetarian sources. With meat protein, choose lean cuts where you can and limit your intake of processed meat.

Learn more about protein

Dairy

Such as: milk, cheese, yoghurt

Supplies protein for growth and repair, as well as calcium for strong bones and healthy teeth. Choose unsweetened, lower-fat versions when possible, and look for fortified versions of plant-based dairy alternatives.

Find out more about dairy

Healthy fats

Such as: olive, rapeseed and sunflower oils

We need a small amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats to provide us with essential fatty acids and energy. Fats also help us absorb fat-soluble vitamins and help protect our organs. Keep an eye on portion size as fat is high in energy.

Learn all about healthy fats

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Water is an essential part of the body, so it’s vital to stay hydrated. Aim to drink 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid per day. Water, lower-fat milks and lower-sugar or sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count. Limit fruit juice and smoothies to a maximum of 150ml (a small glass) per day because they’re high in free sugars.

It’s important to limit foods that are high in less healthy (saturated) fats, ‘free’ sugars (unlike the sugars that you find naturally in milk products or whole fruits), and salt. Saturated fat can raise cholesterol levels and excess salt intake can lead to high blood pressure, both of which contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. Excess consumption of ‘free’ sugars, for example in soft drinks and snacking foods, is linked to tooth decay and can also lead to an increase in energy intake.

The amount of food you need depends on your age, gender, build, lifestyle and activity levels. Small changes to your portion size can make a big difference to your overall health.

Check the British Nutrition Foundation portion size guidance here:?www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/find-your-balance

Nutrition Information

Calories


Food gives us energy, which we need to keep us alive. This energy is measured in calories so just as petrol fuels a car and keeps it running, calories provide fuel for our bodies, meaning we’re able to keep thinking and moving.

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Portion sizes


Generally speaking, portion size refers to the amount of a particular food that is on the plate, whereas serving size is a measured amount of food, usually recommended by the food manufacturer. However, portion size and serving size are often used interchangeably.

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Sugar


Sugar is a type of carbohydrate and an ingredient found in different foods. On its own, it has very little nutritional value, but it’s important to understand the different types of sugar and which foods they’re found in.

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Salt


Salt is one of the oldest ingredients, and is used all over the world to season food. It brings out the flavour in food, but it is also used to preserve it. Salt is one of the five basic flavours that our tongue can taste.

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Drinks


Water is an essential part of a balanced diet – it keeps us hydrated and alert. Our brain is made up of roughly 73% water, so poor hydration can affect how it functions.

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Breakfast


It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this is because our bodies have been without food for several hours while we sleep. A good, balanced meal kick-starts the day, restores energy levels, and means we are less likely to snack on empty calories mid-morning.

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Snack


Depending on the type of food, snacks can provide us with nutrients and fibre or even help us get one of our 5-a-day. But, be aware that frequent snacking across the day can contribute excess calories.

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Reference intakes


Depending on the type of food, snacks can provide us with nutrients and fibre or even help us get one of our 5-a-day. But, be aware that frequent snacking across the day can contribute excess calories.

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Food labelling


Nutritional information on food packaging is there to help us understand the amount of calories (energy), fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, fibre, protein and salt it contains and the recommended serving sizes. Food labels tell us what is in the food we are eating – use them to make informed decisions.

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Alcohol


Calories are most often associated with food; but alcohol also contains calories and when consumed in excess can contribute to weight gain.

Alcohol consumed in excess can also be detrimental to health as it can affect all parts of the body and can play a role in numerous medical conditions.

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Exercise


Keeping active is extremely important for good health. Not only does it reduce the risk of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and dementia; it is also known to boost self-esteem, mood and energy levels, and help us sleep better.

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Our team of experts

Meet 极电竞app’s nutrition team, who know a thing or two about healthy eating and food safety

JENNY ROSBOROUGH


Jenny is head of Nutrition at 极电竞app Oliver and is registered with the Association for Nutrition. She has an MSc in Nutrition from King’s College London and a BA in English and Sports Science from Loughborough University. Jenny works across the business to implement nutrition standards and is particularly passionate about improving the food environment through policy change. She was previously campaign manager at Action on Sugar and co-wrote MEND (child weight management) programmes, upskilling health professionals internationally to deliver these.

Rozzie Batchelar


Senior nutritionist Rozzie graduated with a degree in Nutrition and Sports and Exercise Science in 2012, and is registered with the Association for Nutrition as a food nutritionist. Over the years she has worked across many areas of the 极电竞app Oliver business, and now predominantly works across 极电竞app’s books and TV shows, food products and partnerships.

Maria Parisi


Maria graduated with a first-class degree in Nutrition and Food Science. She works with the Food Education team at 极电竞app Oliver, delivering the nutrition training for 极电竞app’s Ministry of Food, which is accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health. Maria is also part of the nutrition team, working on nutrition content and recipe analysis online, as well as supporting the book and product development.

Healthy 极电竞app and Guides

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Nutrition FAQs

Our team of experts answer your most frequently asked nutrition questions, from food myths to cooking for kids

Do you have many vegetarian recipes available?

Yes – we have a huge selection of exciting, flavour-packed?vegetarian recipes?for you to try. Inspiring people to embrace meat-free alternatives and to strike a healthy balance across their meals, without losing out on flavour, is something we work hard to achieve.

Please note that we have included recipes containing Parmesan within our vegetarian recipe category, so make sure you choose a vegetarian alternative.

I am lactose intolerant. Do you have any tips or recipes for those following a dairy-free diet?

We have worked hard to make sure we’re catering for those who are lactose intolerant, have an allergy to cow’s milk, or choose to follow a dairy-free diet, by putting as much love into our?dairy-free recipes?as we do every other recipe.

Can you give me some delicious recipes for a gluten-free diet?

Gluten-free diets are adopted for a variety of reasons, with coeliac disease and gluten intolerance being the most common. Whenever we develop new recipes, we always try to include a good selection of gluten-free options, as well as providing alternatives to common foods traditionally made with gluten, such as?bread?and?pasta.

See more?gluten-free recipes, or?read about whether or not a gluten-free diet is right for you.

What kind of recipes should I follow if I suffer from diabetes?

Unlike food allergies and intolerances, diabetes is not a simple, easy-to-label condition, and dietary restrictions vary from case to case depending on a variety of factors including insulin dose, carbohydrate intake, activity level and diabetic sensitivity. Adjusting your lifestyle is really important – practising regular exercise, eating healthily and losing weight, are all easily achievable if you follow the right advice.

READ THE LABELS:?As nutritionists, we know how it feels to scrutinise food labels for added sugar, saturated fat, etc. This is something you’ll need to be really aware of, as added sugar tends to sneak into a lot of processed, ready-made foods. Try and cook your meals from scratch, using fresh ingredients – this way you know exactly what you’re putting in your body, which will make it easier to carb-count and adjust insulin doses.

CARBOHYDRATE LEVELS:?It is very important that carbohydrates still make up 1/3 of your diet, some people with diabetes wonder if it would be better to have low levels of carbohydrates in their diet to keep their blood sugar levels under control but this would be a mistake. Swapping refined cereals for wholemeal versions will help to slow the release of energy into the blood stream, helping to avoid steep increases in blood sugar levels.

I’m trying to introduce healthier ingredients into my children’s diet. Could you recommend some simple, delicious swaps?

There are lots of super-easy swaps that you can make to benefit your family’s health. For example, choosing wholemeal or wholegrain carbohydrates over white refined carbohydrates will up your fibre and general nutrient intake, and picking low-fat dairy products will help reduce your intake of saturated fat – just make sure that what you’re buying isn’t full of added sugar. For more healthy swaps, check out these?brilliant healthy snack ideas for kids, as well as our top?tips for new parents.

How can I find out how many calories my child needs?

The Department of Health does not give set reference intakes for children because their requirements vary depending on age, gender and activity levels. If using adult recipes when cooking for children, it’s important to adjust the seasoning and portion size accordingly, and to avoid recipes that contain a lot of naturally salty ingredients.

How do I cut back on salt in my diet?

Too much salt can be harmful, and it’s easy to go overboard without realising. To make things simple, we’ve pulled a whole load of useful info together to help you minimise your intake.

Salt is something that we have to be especially careful with when cooking for children, especially when they’re very young. For this reason, we only season with a tiny pinch, (0.5g), and calculate our nutritional information based on this. We also avoid added salt in children’s dishes where salty ingredients, such as anchovies or feta have been used.

Learn more about salt and a healthy diet here.?

How do I cut down on my sugar intake?

Sugar is added to all sorts of foods to make them taste sweeter, and to preserve (or sometimes disguise) flavour. It’s not just found in the things you’d expect, such as cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks and desserts, but is often hiding in everyday foods, such as ketchup, bread and cereal. To avoid consuming unnecessary amounts of sugar, start checking the labels on all the foods you buy – you might be surprised! It can sometimes be tricky to spot, so look out for agave nectar, corn sweetener, dextrose, honey, corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, glucose, and molasses, which are all alternative names used for sugar.

Learn more about sugar and a healthy diet here.

How do I get more fibre into my diet?

Fibre is a macronutrient that is super-important for keeping our bowels healthy. It also helps to protect against heart disease by keeping cholesterol levels in check, and plays a role in weight control by helping to keep us feeling full and preventing us from overeating.

Most of us don’t get enough fibre – we should be aiming for 24g a day, but in reality most of us are only getting between 11-15g.

Small changes can make a big difference to the fibre levels in your diet. A third of our diet should be made up from starchy carbohydrates, so making a switch from refined carbohydrates to wholemeal or wholegrain varieties will really help to significantly increase your intake. Start by swapping white bread for brown and white pasta for wholemeal – even doing this once or twice a week will still make a massive difference! Other high-fibre ingredients include oats, quinoa, beans and pulses, plus certain seeds, such as linseeds and chia seeds

Learn more about?fibre here.

How can my diet affect my cholesterol?

Saturated fat is the macronutrient most heavily linked to blood cholesterol, particularly the type associated with heart disease, and?is?found in animal fats, such as butter, lard, suet, and fats from meat. Being mindful of these fats in your diet and making sure you aren’t going over the recommended 20g per day is a good step towards achieving a healthy cholesterol.

Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats will make the biggest difference to your health. Unsaturated fats are found in liquid vegetable oils, as well as in nuts, seeds, legumes, avocados, and omega-3 rich oily fish that’s rich in omega-3. These foods will help to lower the bad cholesterol, and raise the levels of good cholesterol.

Read more about healthy fats and cholesterol here.

Is breakfast really all that important?

What we eat for breakfast sets us up for the day, and nourishes our bodies after around 10 hours without food, so it’s incredibly important not to skip it – make sure it’s packed with good stuff, too!

A great breakfast should contain lots of fibre to help keep us feeling full until?lunch. Porridge is a great choice – it’s made from oats, which are not only rich in fibre, but are also wonderfully versatile and can be easily made with different toppings or milks to keep things interesting. Check out our?healthy breakfast guide?for delicious tips and ideas.

Learn what a healthy breakfast looks like.

 

What’s the difference between free sugars, naturally occurring sugars and total sugars?

Sugar is classed in two ways:

FREE SUGARS – sugar added to food and drink, either by ourselves, manufacturers or cooks, as well as sugar found naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. It is free sugars in particular that many of us need to consume less of

NATURALLY OCCURRING SUGARS – sugar found naturally in fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen or dried) or dairy products (milk, plain yoghurt and cheese)

“Total sugars” is the value given on food labels, that includes all sugars, regardless of the source. In other words, it includes those naturally present and those added to the food or drink.

How do I know how much sugar there is in my food and drink?

It’s really important to understand what you’re eating and drinking, where it’s come from and how it affects your body. You can educate yourself about the sugar content in your food and drink by checking the information on the labels.

Things to look out for:
– Added sugar or free sugars – the ones we want to cut down on – aren’t always labelled as sugar, so can be tricky to spot. Keep an eye out for the following in ingredients lists, which are all sugars: agave nectar, corn sweetener, dextrose, honey, corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, glucose and molasses.
– Food labels list ingredients in descending order, so in general, the higher sugar appears in the list, the more sugar that product contains.
– For extra clarity, use the nutritional information panel on the back of the pack. Sugar is listed as ‘of which sugars’ and is the total sugar content per serving and/or per 100g. But, this figure doesn’t distinguish between free and naturally occurring sugars, so also check the ingredients list to get a feel for what type of sugars are actually in the product.
– In the UK, many food and drink manufacturers now use traffic light labelling on the front of their packs as well, signposting key nutrient values – including sugar, saturated fat and salt – as green, amber or red (low, medium or high). As a general rule, most of the time you should aim to choose food and drinks that are mainly green and amber across all values, not just sugar.

Should I be following a sugar-free diet?

It is possible to manage your sugar intake through a healthy, balanced diet, and, like most things, sugar is OK in moderation. However, what’s clear from 极电竞app’s Sugar Rush documentary, is that most people in the UK are consuming too much free sugar, and can definitely afford to reduce that intake. Remember, it’s free sugars you want to keep to a minimum – the majority of your sugar intake should come from fresh fruit and vegetables, and from milk, as they also provide other nutrients to our bodies, such as vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Learn about how to reduce your sugar intake here.

Why are fruit juice sugars considered to be free sugars, when sugars from a whole piece of fruit aren’t?

Eating fruit whole does not count towards our free sugar intake, as the sugars that are found within the fruit cell structure haven’t been found to have any adverse effect on our health. Plus, whole fruit also has the benefit of providing our bodies with fibre, which, as a nation, we are not currently eating enough of. Eating fruit in its natural form will help you towards achieving the recommended intake of 30g of fibre a day. Drinking a glass (150ml) of unsweetened fruit juice is still a great way to help clock up one of your 5-a-day, but it’s best to limit yourself to one glass per day and to drink it at meal times, as the sugars and acid in the juice are harmful to your teeth. Even better, dilute it with the same amount of water to make it go further.

Eating fruit whole does not count towards our free sugar intake, as the sugars that are found within the fruit cell structure haven’t been found to have any adverse effect on our health. Plus, whole fruit also has the benefit of providing our bodies with fibre, which, as a nation, we are not currently eating enough of. Eating fruit in its natural form will help you towards achieving the recommended intake of 30g of fibre a day.

Drinking a glass (150ml) of unsweetened fruit juice is still a great way to help clock up one of your 5-a-day, but it’s best to limit yourself to one glass per day and to drink it at meal times, as the sugars and acid in the juice are harmful to your teeth. Even better, dilute it with the same amount of water to make it go further.

Why are sugary foods considered to be empty calories?

Sugary foods, such as soft drinks, biscuits, cakes and sweets are usually considered to be empty calories, as we often choose them over food rich in nutrients such as protein, fibre and other micronutrients. Sugary foods usually do not contain any other nutritional benefit apart from the energy that comes from the sugar. There is nothing wrong with having the occasional sugary treat, but it’s best to focus the rest of your diet on nutrient-rich foods, such as fruit and vegetables, wholegrain bread, cereals, rice and pasta, lean meats, fish, pulses and dairy foods.

Read more on how to enjoy treats in a healthy way.

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