Healthy eating is about having a balance of different foods and nutrients in the diet for good health and wellbeing. It is not about ‘dieting’. Healthy eating is about enjoying your food, at the same time as being mindful about what you eat.British Dietetic Association, 2020
There are four main food groups to consider. These are:
- Protein rich foods
- Dairy (and alternatives)
- Fruit and Vegetables
The Eatwell guide explains more around what is considered a healthy balanced diet and guidance of how much we should we should eat from each food group to achieve this. It applies to most of us, whether we are a healthy weight or overweight, whether we eat meat or are vegetarian, and no matter what our ethnic origin.
Anyone with special dietary requirements or medical needs might want to check with a registered dietitian on how to adapt the Eatwell Guide to meet their individual needs.
Body Mass Index is a measure that adults can use to see if they are a healthy weight for their height.
If you or a family member has any concerns about your weight/BMI or eating and drinking and feel you would benefit from more specialist input please speak to your GP or practice nurse.
Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet can help to maintain good health, manage conditions and prevent illness and disease.
A balanced diet includes a wide variety of fruit and vegetables every day to provide fibre, vitamins and minerals. It should also include protein sources for muscle growth and repair and carbohydrates to provide energy and nutrients.
Calcium and Vitamin D are essential for healthy bones and teeth, people are at risk of low vitamin D levels when they spend a large amount of time indoors.
- For those worried about their weight and has been infected by COVID-19: Nutrition – During and after COVID-19 booklet
- For anyone worried about their weight and has not been infected by COVID-19: Making the most of your food guide
- For anyone who wants to stay healthy, but has been infected by COVID-19: Eating Well Guide
- For those who have not been infected by COVID-19 and want to remain healthy: Eating well advice leaflet
- For anyone who wants to lose weight and has been infected by COVID-19: Eating well – During and after COVID-19 booklet
- For if you have not been infected by COVID-19 and want to lose weight: NHS UK – Eat Well website.
If you are unsure which statement best fits you can complete a self assessment. It may be helpful to ask a relative or friend to support you with this.
If you have a specific medical condition e.g kidney disease, diabetes, coeliac disease, eating disorder, pancreatic disorder, history of bariatric surgery, swallowing issues, or other condition that may require a specific diet, you should follow specific dietary advice from your healthcare professional. If you have any concerns, please consult your GP.
- Making Every Contact Count – healthy eating resource
- Making Every Contact Count – alcohol
- Diabetes UK – healthy eating resource
- Guts UK – Gastroenterology problems e.g. Irritable bowel, Inflammatory bowel, pancreatic enzyme deficiency.
- Coeliac UK
- British Heart Foundation – Heart and circulation (high cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure)
- Stroke Association – publication resource centre
- NHS UK – Start the NHS weight loss plan
- Alzheimers Society – Eating and drinking for those with Dementia
- Allergy UK – Support for those with allergies
- Malnutrition Pathway website
Most people with coronavirus (COVID-19) feel better within a few days or weeks of their first symptoms and make a full recovery within 12 weeks. For some people, symptoms can last longer. This is called long COVID or post COVID-19 syndrome. Long COVID is a new condition which is still being studied. (NHS 2022)
For further information please visit: Your Covid Recovery – Supporting Recovery for Long Covid
Eating can be difficult when you are feeling poorly, however it is important to try and have a balanced diet and include and wide variety of vitamins, minerals, protein, energy, fibre and fluid. This will help your body work to the best of its ability and aid recovery. A good dietary intake also aids muscle growth/repair, helps maintain your immune system and increases your energy levels. Examples of eating approaches that have balance this and diversity include the Mediterranean type diet (considered to be an anti-inflammatory diet) and the NHS Eatwell Guide Long Covid and Diet.
Whether you want to lose weight or get active. Your practice is here to guide you to trustworthy, local and national weight loss tools, programmes and support.
The sections below contain a range of useful links and resources to get you started on the right foot.
To find out if you’re a healthy weight for your height, work out your body mass index (BMI).
You can easily check your BMI by using this BMI calculator. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy.
These webinars will help you understand why dieting is so challenging, and will help you to build a new approach to eating and your health.
Local guided weight management programs
Fit Fans: Free 12 Week Programme based at Football clubs
Meal planning and healthy recipes
See a dietitian
If you have tried the tools, programmes and support above and need further help to lose weight, contact your GP practice who may refer you to a dietitian or to your local weight management service.