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A healthy balanced diet

Grouping foods into what’s healthy and what’s not can be simple, but when it comes to a balanced diet, it’s better to look at your approach as a whole. No single food can give you all of the nutrients you need, so it’s time to mix it up and add variety to get the most from your meals

A colourful tomato salad

What is healthy eating?

Healthy eating is getting the right balance of energy and nutrients within our diet to allow us to live healthy lives and reduce our risk of disease.

Too much energy from calories within our diets can lead to unhealthy weight gain which increases the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Secondly a lack of vitamins and minerals in our diet can lead to risk of deficiency causing health problems.

Look at for our nutrition labeling on the front of packs to easily find out the amount of calories in your food.

Balancing energy

Weight gain occurs when we take in (through food, drink and alcohol) more energy from calories than we use (through daily activity and exercise).

Typically, women need around 2000 kcal a day while men need around 2500 kcal, depending on your starting weight, height, age and activity levels.

Therefore, it is important to gain a balance of the right type of food in our diet to lives healthy lives.  

Tips for a healthy diet

  • Eat more fruit and veg – whether its 5 portions or 30, increasing your fruit and vegetable intake helps to achieve a healthy balanced diet through vitamins and minerals. Choosing a variety of types and colours can help reduce risk of deficiency in the diet and increase fibre intake.

  • Chose wholegrain carbohydrates – around one third of your daily diet should be starchy carbohydrates. Bread, rice and pasta are all good sources of energy and choosing wholegrain varieties helps to increase your fibre intake.

  • Choose lean protein – whether its beans, pulses, fish, eggs or lean meat, lean protein is great for a healthy diet. Including dairy or fortified dairy alternatives in your diet is a good source of vitamins and minerals.

  • Aim for two portions of fish a week, with one being an oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or sardines, for your quota of heart-healthy omega 3. 

  • Manage the amount of saturated fat, sugar and salt in your diet – choose items which have mostly green and amber food labelling to help you.

  • Drink plenty – 6-8 glasses a day (around two litres) of fluid, ideally water. Or opt for sugar-free drinks, tea, coffee, herb or fruit teas, milk and fortified dairy alternatives, one 150ml glass of fruit juice or smoothie counts too.

  • Get active every day – anything that gets your heart beating faster whether its walking, gardening or dancing. Being active also helps improve sleep and mood, and relieve stress.

  • Our Eat Well, Balanced for You and Count on Us ranges are available in store to help you navigate healthier choices.

Food inspiration

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