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The Balance of Good Health

Picture of a Plate

What is The Balance of Good Health?


The Balance of Good Health
is a new way of helping you understand and enjoy healthy eating. It makes healthy eating easier to understand by showing the types and proportion of foods which make up a well-balanced and healthy diet.

For most people this means a change towards more vegetables, fruit, bread, breakfast cereals, potatoes, rice and pasta. Most of all, it means variety. The Balance of Good Health shows that you don't have to give up the foods you most enjoy for the sake of your health. But remember that everything you eat, snacks as well as meals, counts towards the balance of your diet.

Much of what we eat is as dishes or meals that are combinations of foods from several of the food groups, like casseroles, spaghetti bolognaise, sandwiches and pizza. To make a healthy choice, think about how the main ingredients fit with the proportions in the picture.

Take a pizza for example:

  • dough base
  • mushroom and tomato purée
  • cheese and ham

This only provides a little in the way of 'Fruit and vegetables' foods, so adding a salad or some vegetables and following with a piece of fruit would provide a meal with a balance of foods as shown in the picture.

Who is The Balance of Good Health for?

It applies to most people. It does not apply to children under the age of two, who need full fat milk and dairy products. Between the ages of two and five, children will gradually be changing to family foods and the balance shown in the picture can begin to apply.

If you are under medical supervision or have special dietary requirements you may want to check with your doctor to find out whether or not it applies to you. You may be referred to the nurse or a state registered dietitian for extra advice.

Content taken from a leaflet first published by the Health Education Authority, in consultation with the Department of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture. Fisheries and Food. and in cooperation with the Welsh Dffice, Scottish Office Home & Health Department and the Department of Health & Social Security, Northern Ireland.

© Health Education Authority 1996

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