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Top diet questions answered

Our nutritionists tackle common dieting queries.

The Eatwell Plate

All foods can be part of a healthy diet - it's achieving the right balance and variety of foods that's important for health.

If you want to live a long and healthy life, most experts agree that eating a healthy balanced diet and staying active are two of the most important things you can do to improve the odds. But what exactly is a healthy balanced diet? Does it mean a life without cakes, crisps and chocolate and eating lots of lentils, vegetables and brown rice?

When it comes to healthy eating, the most important thing to remember is that, despite what newspaper headlines may say, there are no such things as 'good' and 'bad' foods. The odd biscuit or packet of crisps here and there isn't going to do any harm if the rest of your diet is healthy.

The secret to a healthy diet is balance. To help you get it right, nutritionists have divided foods into five groups shown below in the Eatwell plate.

To ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs, you need to eat some food from each of the food groups each day. Foods from the largest groups should be eaten most often.

Eatwell chart

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