Skip to main content

Healthy Eating

Fresh fruit and vegetable

We all know eating well is important, yet many of us don’t meet current healthy eating recommendations. With some planning and inspiration we can make this more enjoyable and easier to fit into our busy lives.

Your body needs a constant supply of energy to fuel the continuous processes of life, such as your heartbeat, breathing and digestion.  You also need energy to grow and repair your body’s tissues and to power your muscles for movement. This energy is provided by your food and drink. 

As well as getting enough energy, you need to make sure your diet includes essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.  The food choices you make have a long term impact on your overall health.

Evidence shows that eating a healthy diet can help in reducing the risk of many illnesses such as heart disease, obesity and many cancers. In addition, ensuring you get enough nutrients from all the key food groups can help you stay full and feel satisfied.

Useful tips: 

  • Try to have at least three meals per day.  
  • Include starchy carbohydrates at each meal – for example cereals, bread, potatoes, rice, chapattis and pasta. A portion is typically 2-3 tablespoons/1 slice.  
  • Aim for 2-3 portions of dairy items or dairy-free alternatives every day to help support your bone health. If you are overweight, choose the lower fat variety. A portion is typically one pot of yoghurt, matchbox size piece of cheese or 200ml of milk.  
  • Aim to include protein with each meal – such as meat, chicken, fish, egg, nuts, beans, lentils, pulses, Quorn© or tofu.  
  • Try to include at least 5 portions of different fruit and vegetables each day. One portion is roughly the size of your clenched fist. Fresh, dried, tinned and frozen varieties are all suitable.  
  • Aim for at least 6-8 glasses of fluid throughout the day.  
  • A vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms/day is recommended if your access to sun light is reduced or you are isolating indoors. Discuss with your healthcare professional if you are unsure if you should take a supplement. 

Even just making a few healthy swaps each day can make a difference!

If you are underweight, are losing weight or have a poor appetite  

  • You should try to eat three meals a day with snacks and nourishing drinks in between. Try including mixed nuts, yoghurts, cheese and crackers, toast, crumpets or full fat milk, hot chocolate, milkshakes or smoothies 
  • If you eat low fat or 'diet' type foods, switch to the full fat or full calorie equivalents as the extra energy in them may halt or slow any unintentional weight loss
  • Aim to include some protein foods in each meal and snack, such as meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, beans and nuts
  • Try enriching your foods by adding extra calories to them, for example add cheese to soup, pasta, mash potato or vegetables.  Add extra butter, margarine to vegetables, bread or scrambled egg
  • Take drinks after meals rather than with meals so that they do not fill you up. 

Useful local NHS resources:

Level 2 Weight Management

A free NHS nine week structured weight management programme, developed by Public Health Dietitians in Wales, which focuses on long term weight loss. Powys residents can self-refer by completing the self-referral form. Find out more.

Useful online resources:

Self-Screening Calculator

If you are worried about weight loss, this calculator will provide you with first line advice on how to prevent you losing further weight. You may need to see a dietitian for individual support. Find out more.

The Eatwell Guide

The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.