8 rules to eating well

1. Base your meals on starchy foods

Starchy foods such as bread, cereals, rice, pasta and potatoes are a really important part of a healthy diet. Try to choose wholegrain varieties of starchy foods whenever you can.

2. Eat lots of fruit and veg

Try to eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. It might be easier than you think. For example, you could have:

  • a glass of juice and a sliced banana with your cereal at breakfast
  • a side salad at lunch
  • a pear as an afternoon snack
  • a portion of peas or other vegetables with your evening meal

3. Eat more fish

Most of us should be eating more fish - including a portion of oily fish each week. It's an excellent source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals.

4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

To stay healthy we need some fat in our diets. What is important is the kind of fat we are eating. There are two main types of fat:

  • saturated fat - having too much can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases the chance of developing heart disease
  • unsaturated fat - having unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat lowers blood cholesterol

5. Try to eat less salt - no more than 6g a day

Three-quarters (75%) of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, sauces and ready meals. So you could easily be eating too much salt without realizing it.

6. Get active and try to be a healthy weight

It's not a good idea to be either underweight or overweight. Being overweight can lead to health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. Being underweight could also affect your health.

7. Drink plenty of water

We should be drinking about 6 to 8 glasses (1.2 litres) of water, or other fluids, every day to stop us getting dehydrated.

8. Don't skip breakfast

Breakfast can help give us the energy we need to face the day, as well as some of the vitamins and minerals we need for good health.

You are what you eat

A good diet is central to overall good health, but which are the best foods to include in your meals, and which ones are the best avoided?