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Adults and older people

Healthy eating for adults and older people

Information about healthy eating, food choices and weight for adults and older people.

Healthy Eating

With our busy lifestyles and the wide variety of food choices now available to us, it can be hard to know where to start when thinking about healthy eating.

By making some small changes to your diet you can have a big impact on not only your health but the way you look and feel!

There are many health benefits that come from eating a healthy and varied diet including:

  • To make you feel better, more confident, happier and less stressed.
  • To help maintain a healthy weight.
  • To keep bones strong.
  • To help maintain muscle strength and joint mobility.
  • To give you energy to carry out your daily activities.
  • To reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, strokes and certain cancers.

Getting the Balance Right

As there is no single food that contains all the nutrients our body needs to function properly, it is important to eat a mixture of different foods everyday.

Simple Steps to Healthy Eating

Eat more:

  • Fruit and vegetables - five varied portions daily.
  • Foods high in fibre, such as beans and pulses.
  • Low-fat dairy products, such as semi-skimmed milk, low-fat cheese and yoghurt.
  • Starchy foods, such as wholemeal rice, pasta and wholegrain bread.

Eat less:

  • Processed meat products such as sausages, meat pies and burgers - replace these with lean meat with the skin and fat removed.
  • Foods high in salt such as crisps and processed foods for example ready meals and sauces. Adults should aim for no more than 6g of salt daily.
  • Sugary foods and drinks such as fizzy juice, sweets and biscuits.
  • High-fat foods such as cream, butter, and cakes.

Remember low fat foods still contain a lot of fat so don't be tempted to use twice as much.

What if I want to lose weight?

A good way to check if you're a healthy weight is to use the Body Mass Index (BMI). Use a healthy weight calculator to check your BMI and see if you would benefit from losing a few pounds:

The best way to lose weight is by making changes to your diet and also to increase the amount of physical activity you do.

All adults should try to be active for a total of 30 minutes most days. If this seems too much to achieve, don't worry because breaking your activity down into 3 lots of 10 minutes will work just as well!


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