What is a balanced diet?
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.
How does a balanced diet look like?
There are various recommendations for models of balanced diets, but the general consensus is that we need to eat:
- Fruit and vegetables: at least 5 servings a day
- Starchy carbohydrates: preferably carbs high in fibre like wholegrains, pasta, potatoes
- Quality protein sources: fish, lean meat, eggs, or vegetarian protein sources like pulses, beans
- Dairy or non-dairy alternatives: aim for lower-fat dairy
- Small amounts of high quality oils, such as olive oil
Salt intake should also be limited to 6g a day ( which is basically a teaspoon) but that also applies to the salt contained by our food. Cured or processed meats, tinned foods and ready meals tend to have high sodium levels, so it’s best to not consume these that often.
The role of vegetables in a balanced diet
Vegetables are so nutritionally rich we should aim to eat at least 5 portions a day, and a healthy diet should be full of a variety of vegetables. Different vegetables contain different types and amounts of vitamins and minerals, while also providing fibre and helping you maintain a healthy weight. Some veg such as peas, also contain protein, making them a great alternative to animal-origin products.
Vegetables are also a great way to add more colour to your plate, so when in doubt – just add a hefty portion of different colour veg and you’ve got yourself a healthy side.
If you’re worried about getting your veg fix during colder seasons, we have some good news: use frozen vegetables! Frozen vegetables are just as good nutritionally as fresh ones because the freezing process locks in the goodness.
We have a large variety of vegetables in our Birds Eye range, from plain natural vegetables such as our peas, Steamfresh vegetables and Field Fresh vegetables.
Choosing Quality Protein
Our body needs protein for the growth, maintenance and repair of our cells so it’s important to get the recommended daily intake from high-quality sources. Choose lean meats like chicken, turkey or fish and plant-based protein rather than red meats like pork, beef or lamb.
It’s recommended that we eat fish at least twice a week, including one portion of oily fish to reap its multiple nutritional benefits. And there’s plenty to choose from our varied range of fish products: our favourites include omega 3 fish fingers, cod fish fingers and battered cod fillets. And remember, frozen fish is just as good nutritionally as fresh!
Our Birds Eye products fit perfectly into a healthy balanced diet - our portfolio is built around mealtime essentials, and our frozen food is just as good nutritionally as fresh! We also have plenty of recipe ideas to inspire you.