A balanced diet is the key to healthy eating. For this you need to eat the right amount of fresh fruit and vegetables and provide your body with fibre, protein and starch. Consumption of sugar, salt and fat should be kept to a minimum. The Food Standards Agency have produced a chart which shows us the five main food groups which combine to give us a healthy diet.
We all know now the recommendation that we should consume at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. These will provide us with minerals, vitamins and fibre. By consuming the right amount of fruit and vegetables we can also help to cut the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.
Next comes cereals, potatoes and bread which are all important as they provide us with energy, vitamins, fibre and minerals. Meat and fish also give us give us protein, vitamins and minerals but they should not be consumed in great amounts. Dairy products such as milk and cheese as well as giving us protein and vitamins also give us calcium, vital for strengthening teeth and bones. Again, though, consumption should not be too great.
Consumption of fat and sugary foods should be kept to an absolute minimum. They provide calories for energy but apart from that there is little nutritional benefit. We need salt and it is present naturally in most foods but the health problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure occur because we add so much salt to our food.
Nowadays retailers have printed on the packaging of foodstuffs the amounts of fat, sugar, carbohydrates, protein etc. to give us a guide on what we are actually eating and to help us maintain a healthy, balanced diet, hopefully for a longer, healthier life.