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Healthy eating

What is healthy eating? Many people see some foods as 'good' and some foods as 'bad' and feel they are helping their health when they are eating 'good' foods and not when eating 'bad'. Healthy eating is all about achieving a balanced diet and to achieve this you should eat a variety of foods in moderation. The problem is that your idea of variety and moderation is probably very different to someone else!

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Healthy eating can be achieved by following the Balance of Good Health (BOGH). This is a visual representation of how to achieve a balanced diet and is the UK National Food Guide :

- The BOGH shows you that no food is bad and all food can play a part in a healthy balanced diet. It encourages you to eat a variety of foods from all the food groups meaning that you don't need to deprive yourself of any of your favourite foods
- The BOGH helps to ensure that all your nutritional requirements are met
- The BOGH gives you a guide as to how many portions of food from the different food groups you should eat daily.

The basic food groups

There are five basic food groups :

  1. Bread, other cereals and potatoes (5-14 portions)
  2. Milk and dairy products (2 - 3 portions)
  3. Fruit and vegetables (5 or more portions)
  4. Meat, fish and alternatives(2- 3 portions)
  5. Foods containing fat. Foods containing sugar (keep these to minimum)

Contrary to some of the popular diets around today, protein foods should not be eaten in large quantities. Your meals and snacks should be based on starchy carbohydrate foods such as potato, rice, pasta and bread and plenty of fruit and vegetables

The BOGH is appropriate for everyone except for children under the age of 2. This pattern of eating can be introduced into the diet of children between 2-5 years old

The BOGH is suitable for vegetarians, is flexible and uses readily available foods

The BOGH can be adapted for all international foods/diets eg Chinese, Asian, Caribbean

** This fact sheet provides you with basic information about healthy eating. It is not a substitute for medical or dietetic advice and you should contact your GP for further information

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