Health & nutrition section:
Health & nutrition fact sheets:
The Vegetarian 'Eatwell Plate'
The Vegetarian Eatwell Plate (see photo below) is a great way to find out whether you are eating the right mix of foods. The plate shows each food group, protein, carbohydrates, fats and fruit & vegetables as a proportion of a balanced diet. It is suitable for everyone except children under two years of age, who have different nutritional requirements.
The main healthy eating messages are the same for everybody. As part of a healthy balanced diet, we should all be trying to do the following:
eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day, choose fruit and veg of different colours and have a mixture of cooked and fresh produce
base about a third of meals on starchy foods such as pasta, rice, cereals and pulses such as beans, peas and lentils.
try to cut down on saturated fat. Instead, choose foods that are rich in unsaturated fat, such as vegetable oils (including sunflower, rapeseed and olive oil), avocados, nuts and seeds.
try to grill, bake, poach, boil, steam, dry-fry or microwave instead of frying or roasting in oil.
eat a variety of protein foods such as pulses, soya, tofu, QuornTM, dairy products, eggs and nuts.
cut down on sugar.
reduce your salt intake to under 6 grams a day. Try not to add salt to your food at the table.
drink about 1.2 litres (6 to 8 glasses) of water a day; more if you exercise.
Fruit and vegetables
Fresh, frozen, juiced, canned or dried fruit and vegetables. These supply vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and starchy foods.
Make these starchy foods the basis of most meals. Try to include wholemeal or wholegrain versions where possible. Avoid adding too much fat. These supply carbohydrates, fibre, protein and some vitamins.
Milk and dairy food
Good sources of calcium, protein and some vitamins. If avoiding dairy foods, choose fortified soya, rice or oat drinks or ensure other foods high in calcium are included.
Foods and drinks high in fat and / or sugar
Although some fat is needed in the diet, eat these foods sparingly, and look out for low fat alternatives.
Alternatives to meat and fish, including eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein.
Include a variety of pulses, nuts, seeds, eggs and other soya, mycoprotein and wheat proteins in the diet to ensure adequate intakes of protein, minerals and vitamins.