Eating these types of foods in the proportions shown will make sure you get the right balance of vitamins (like vitamin C) and minerals (like iron and calcium).
See below to learn more about each food group.
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Breads, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods
Eat lots of this food group
‘Other starchy foods’ means foods such as breakfast cereals, oats, chapattis and rotis. It also includes yams and plantains. Try to eat wholegrain versions where possible and always avoid adding or cooking in fat.
Milk and dairy foods
Eat or drink moderate amounts and choose lower fat versions whenever you can
Milk, cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais are included in this group. Swap whole milk for semi-skimmed, 1% or skimmed. Choose low-fat versions of all dairy products but remember that reduced fat cheeses aren’t always low-fat so it's important to still keep the portion small.
Food and drinks high in fat and/ or sugar
Eat just small amounts of these foods and drinks
This includes oils and spreading fats and sugar that you might add to foods and drinks, as well as foods with a high fat and/or sugar content such as mayonnaise, cream, chocolate, crisps, biscuits, pastries, cakes, ice cream, sugary soft drinks, sweets and honey. Choose unsaturated oils and spreading fats and avoid saturated fats like butter, ghee and lard.
Meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
Eat moderate amounts and choose lower fat versions whenever you can
Beans and pulses count as 1 portion towards your 5 a day and are a good source of protein. Aim to include 2 portions of fish a week and make one of these oily fish. If you’ve had a heart attack, aim for 2-3 portions of oily fish a week. Remove skin and visible fat from meat and poultry.
Fruit and vegetables
Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
Fresh, frozen, dried, tinned and juices (once a day) all count. Try to eat a variety. Try to avoid adding rich sauces or butter to your vegetables and sugar or syrups to fruit. Also, make sure tinned fruit and vegetables don't have added salt and/or sugar.