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Oils and Spreads

Oils and spreads are made from fat. Fat is an essential part of a well-balanced diet, however we can eat too much of it. All types of fat are high in calories therefore should only be consumed in small amounts. Aim to choose unsaturated oils and spreads such as sunflower oil and olive oil where possible.

Fruit and Veg

Fruit and Veg are a great source of fibre in our diets and they contain a variety of essential vitamins and minerals that our body needs to keep us healthy.Fruit and veg should make up approximately a third of our diet and we should aim to eat a variety of different fruit and vegetables every day.

Dairy and Alternatives

Dairy foods and their plant-based alternatives are good sources of protein and vitamins. These foods are also an important source of calcium which is vital for healthy bones and teeth. It should also be noted that plant-based alternatives tend to have less calcium in them than cows milk products therefore, when choosing a plant based product, look for ones that have been fortified with extra calcium

High Fat, Salt and Sugar Foods

These foods are not part of the Eat Well Guide as they are not considered as a necessary part of a well-balanced diet. These foods such as cakes, sweets, crisps etc., are commonly high in fat, sugar and salt, high in calories and low in nutritional value. Those who are aiming for a well-balanced diet should aim to eat these foods less often and in small amounts.


Protein is a key nutrient for older people and is important for muscle repair and maintenance throughout life. It is important to have a variety of protein foods in our diet. Examples of high protein foods are meat, pulses such as beans, peas and lentils, fish, eggs, and meat alternatives such as tofu, Quorn, and tempeh.


Carbohydrates (starchy foods) should be the main source of energy in our diet and are good source of fibre, iron and B vitamins. It’s recommended to choose wholegrain varieties where possible and to avoid highly processed versions that can be high in fats and/or sugar. Examples of carbohydrates include bread, potatoes, cereals, rice, pasta, and crackers.