Healthy eating

Long term conditions: Diet and nutrition

It is important to eat well and maintain a balanced diet. Here are some tips to help you do this.

Base meals on starchy foods, such as cereals, porridge, bread/chapatti, potatoes, cassava, yam, fufu, plantain, rice, pasta or noodles. A portion is fist sized.  

Five a day = two fist sized portions of fruit and three fist sized portions vegetables at a minimum. This could include: one banana, a handful grapes, a bowl of salad, a handful of broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage or green beans. 

You should eat two to three portions of dairy, this might include: one pot of yogurt, a glass of milk or a matchbox sized chunk of cheese. 

Protein is important - you should have two to three portions of protein every day. This might include: one palm-sized or deck of cards-sized piece of meat or fish, two eggs, or half a tin of beans, lentils or tofu. Oily fish (eg salmon, pilchards, mackerel and trout) is recommended two to three times a week as it is rich in omega-3. 

Fatty and sugary foods - limit these to one portion a day maximum. This could include a chocolate bar, a bag of crisps, a small portion of chips, takeaway or fast foods, a can of fizzy drink, a milkshake, a packet of sweets, a slice of cake, biscuits, pies, pastries, butter/oil. 

If you are overweight, try to choose lower fat products, eat more non-starchy vegetables (like broccoli and carrots) and use smaller portion sizes overall.

If you are underweight and need to gain weight, the above guidelines may not apply. Discuss with a dietician.

For more information please visit