The Food Pyramid and The Eatwell Guide

Eating well is important for all of us. In the short-term, it can help us to feel good, look our best and stay at a healthy weight. In the long-term, a healthy, balanced diet can reduce our risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. But what exactly is a healthy, balanced diet?

To eat a balanced diet you need to combine several different types of foods - from each of the main food groups - in the right amounts so your body gets all the nutrients it needs while maintaining a healthy weight. This means you should eat:

  • Plenty of bread, rice potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods
  • Plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Some milk, cheese and yoghurt
  • Some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
  • Very small amounts of fats and oils and
  • A very small amount or no foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt

In the Republic of Ireland the Food Pyramid is used and in Northern Ireland the Eatwell Guide is used.