Eat to get Better Health

Our diets can play a large role in our overall health and well-being, and eating the right foods can help us to enjoy better health.

Eating a wide variety of foods can help us enjoy good health and protect us from diseases. A variety of foods means eating a range of foods from each of the five main food groups, and eating them in the quantities recommended. A variety of foods from the five groups provides our bodies with all of the nutrients it needs to remain healthy.

The five food groups are:

  • Grains, consisting of whole grain and high fibre cereals.
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables and legumes
  • Lean meats including poultry and fish. Or alternatives including seeds, tofu, nuts and beans
  • Dairy, including milk, yoghurt and cheese, opting for low-fat options where possible

Eating a variety of foods is known as having a ‘balanced diet’. A balanced diet provides our bodies with all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs, whilst offering a variety so you don’t become bored with your diet.

Whilst eating the right foods can help us achieve a healthy lifestyle, so can limiting foods. There are some foods that do not fit into the five food groups, because our body does not need them. These foods should only be eaten occasionally as they do not offer much in the way of benefit to our health and can lead to obesity or other diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or leave us deficient in essential vitamins or minerals. Examples include biscuits, cakes, processed meats, chocolate and sweets, and foods high in saturated fat.