Simply, a balanced diet is one which includes a sufficient variety of foods and drinks, in appropriate amounts, to provide the energy and nutrients needed for health. Key nutrients are vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and all of these have numerous important roles in the body. A healthy balanced diet is also one which allows a person to maintain a healthy weight.
There are various recommendations for and models of balanced diets, with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland giving specific recommendations for Ireland. Generally, it’s advised to eat:
- lots of fruits, vegetables and starchy carbohydrates (such as pasta, rice and potatoes)
- a good amount of protein sources (including fish, pulses, beans and lean meat) and dairy (or non-dairy alternatives)
- small amounts of high quality oils, such as olive oil
- treat foods such as sweets, biscuits, crisps, chocolate, etc. infrequently
Within this, there is general advice to eat a wide variety of foods, to maximise the range of nutrients you consume. Of particular importance to us at Birds Eye are the very special roles role of vegetables and fish in a balanced diet.