Healthy Peterborough

Healthy Eating

Support & Useful Links - Healthy Eating

Being overweight can seriously affect your health. If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to develop health problems such as heart disease, a stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Most overweight people are overweight because they consume more energy than they use through physical activity. This means that the best way to lose weight is to make achievable, long-lasting changes to your eating and physical activity habits.

If you’ve tried changing your diet and physical activity habits but are finding it difficult to lose weight, a referral from a health professional, such as your GP, to our local nutrition and dietetic service may help.


FREE healthy lifestyle classes 

We can offer a free ten week structured programme concerning nutrition and exercise, for adults looking for weight management. Find more details below or view our leaflet by clicking here!

We also run Let's get Healthy - a children’s healthy lifestyle club for 4-12 year olds. Find out more



Useful links

The following links provide information about the food and diet, the benefits of healthy eating and a range of tools to help you.





Healthy eating

Support and
useful links

Eating well


6 tips to healthy eating

Be Food Smart



Let's get Healthy



MoreLife programme for children

Healthy weight loss

Takeaways and eating out
Healthier cooking
Don't pass the salt Eat more fruit and veg
Cut back on fat

Let's get healthy

Our free healthy lifestyles club running in schools and community settings.

The club is six weeks for children aged 4-6, and ten weeks for children aged 7-12. They are interactive and fun sessions, with parents attending the entire session for the younger group, and only the last 20 minutes of the sessions for the older group. Parents can directly refer.

Workshops include learning about sugary drinks and food swapping for healthier snacks, making smoothies, and blindfold fruit & veg taste testing, and also activities and games such as parachute games and shuttle races.

View our leaflet by clicking here!

Children’s Healthy Lifestyle Club:





13 January - 17 March 2018

10-week programme for
7-11-year olds

Instructor: Yasmin Siddique

Earlham House
Brooke Street

(Near the Passport Office)

2:00pm – 3:15pm

(parents can attend for the last 15 minutes if they


13 January - 17 February 2018

6 Week Programme for
4-6-year olds

Instructor: Sonia Cullington


Millfield Community Centre
New England Complex
Lincoln Road

(Free parking onsite)


(Parents/carers need to attend with child)

Email or call direct on 01733 894540. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.




Shape up for Life

A ten week structured programme concerning nutrition and exercise, for adults looking for weight management.

Find more details below or view our leaflet by clicking here!

Adult weight management programme – BMI 25+ (Clients can self-refer)




15 January - 19 March 2018

Ladies only programme (delivered in Urdu/Punjabi)

Instructor: Shakila Bano

Gladstone Park Community Centre
Bourges Boulevard

(Free Parking onsite)

11:00am- 12:30pm

16 January - 20 March 2018

Mixed Programme

Instructor: Deborah Chessum

Gladstone Park Community Centre
Bourges Boulevard

(Free Parking onsite)

11:00am- 12:30pm

17 January – 21 March 2018

Mixed Programme

Instructor: Yasmin Siddique

Gladstone Park Community Centre
Bourges Boulevard

(Free Parking onsite)

5:30pm- 7:00pm


Adult weight management programme – BMI 35+ (clients can access service via a GP referral)



Location Time

10 January - 14 March 2018

Mixed Programme

Instructor: Afrose Dungarwala

Gladstone Park Community Centre
Bourges Boulevard

(Free Parking onsite)

11 January - 15 March 2018

Mixed Programme

Instructor: Afrose Dungarwala

Gladstone Park Community Centre
Bourges Boulevard

(Free Parking onsite)
12noon - 2:00pm

To apply: 
Email healthy.peterborough@nhsnet. or call direct on 01733 894540. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.

SU4L 1

SU4L 2

6 healthy eating tips

1. Base your meals on starchy foods

Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Choose wholegrain varieties (or eat potatoes with their skins on) when you can: they contain more fibre, and can help you feel full.

2. Eat lots of fruit and veg

It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day. It’s easier than it sounds. A glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice (150ml) can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?

3. Eat more fish

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish. Oily fish contains omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease. You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned: but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.

Oily fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines and pilchards. Non-oily fish include haddock, plaice, coley, cod, tinned tuna, skate and hake. If you regularly eat a lot of fish, try to choose as wide a variety as possible.

4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

We all need some fat in our diet. But it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we’re eating. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as hard cheese, cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, butter, lard and pies. Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake, and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.

Most people in the UK eat and drink too much sugar. Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy and if eaten too often, can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.

Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means that the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means that the food is low in sugar.

5. Eat less salt

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke

About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces. Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.

6. Drink More Water

Water makes up about two-thirds of the weight of a healthy body. To stay healthy, it is important to replace the fluid we lose when we breathe, sweat or urinate. We get some fluid from our food but most comes from drinks.

The European Food Safety Authority recommends about eight glasses of 200ml each for a woman, and 10 glasses of 200ml each for a man.



Support and Useful Links

What is a healthy diet?

Eating well helps you to achieve a healthier, happier lifestyle. A healthy, balanced diet includes a range of different types of foods eaten in the right amounts. This helps to keep your body healthy and reduce your risk of poor health now and in the future.  Eating well gives you energy, helps you concentrate and boosts your mood too.  

What is a Healthy Diet?

Understanding what to eat as part of a healthy balanced diet can be confusing. The Eatwell Guide is a visual representation of which foods most people should eat and in what amounts to achieve a healthier diet.

There are five main types of foods to include in your diet, and it is important to each a variety of different foods within each group. The five groups are:

Having a varied diet is important to get a range of nutrients. Eating foods in the right amounts is also important towards maintaining a healthy weight. In the Eatwell Guide the size of each sections suggests how much of each food group you need to eat. The bigger the section the more you need. Fruit and vegetables are one of the largest sections which mean you should eat lots from this group – at least five portions a day. Some foods should only be eaten in small amounts as the section of the plate is much smaller, such as oils and spreads.

Many of us enjoy treat foods and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar but we don’t actually need these in our diet, These foods are set to one side of the Eatwell Guide to show not to eat these very often or in large amounts. Most children and adults eat too much saturated fat, salt and sugar and should make changes to cut down on these.

Who is the Eatwell Guide for?

The Guide is recommended for most people, regardless of their weight, ethnicity or preference as a meat eater or vegetarian. Children aged 2 to 5 years should start to follow the guide. Everyone aged 5 and older should eat a healthy, balanced diet shown by the Eatwell Guide. Some people may need to seek advice first, such as people with dietary requirements or medical needs.

When should you follow the Eatwell Guide?

Try to follow the Eatwell Guide most of the time. Not every meal or snack you have will include a food from each of the five main sections but aim for a balance over the day and week. Imagine putting all the food you eat in a day or week in to the sections of the Eatwell Guide, would your sections be the same proportion as the guide? If not then consider what you would need to change in your diet, do you need to eat more of some foods and less of others?

Top Tips for a healthy diet

Here are just eight suggestions to help you and your family follow a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle; 

  1. Include starchy carbohydrates at meals, these include; potatoes, bread, rice pasta and other sources.
  2. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
  3. Eat more fish. It is recommended to eat one portion of oily fish a week, such as; sardines, mackerel, trout, herring, pilchards and salmon.
  4. Cut down on foods high in fat and sugar.
  5. Eat less salt.
  6. Eat well and exercise to reach and stay a heathy weight.
  7. Drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day. (Plain water and milk are the only tooth friendly drinks for children).
  8. Have breakfast.


Eating more fruit and veg

Do you and your family eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day? A few small changes can help to increase your intake.

At least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day is the recommended intake for adults and children in the UK. However most of us do not eat enough. Just 27% of 19-64 year olds and 8% of 11-18 year olds get their 5-A-Day.

What are the benefits?

Fruit and vegetables are part of a healthy, balanced diet. Over one third of what we eat should be from this group of foods, as shown by the Eatwell Guide. Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthydiet. Eating 5-A-Day isshown to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke andsome cancers. Fruit and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals for a healthy body, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and iron. They are an important source of fibre too, which helps to prevent constipation and for a healthy gut.

What counts?

5-A-Day is a combination of fruit and vegetables, try to eat a variety of different fruit and vegetables. This provides different nutrient contents, such as vitamins, minerals and fibre. It also keeps eating them interesting and enjoyable. Think about ‘eating the rainbow’ to get a variety of colours, textures and flavours.

Fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or pure fruit/vegetable juices and smoothies all count towards your 5-a-day. Beans and pulses also count. Find out more at 5-A-Day: what counts?

Portion sizes for adults are as follows. For children a rough guide to a portion is the amount they can fit in the palm of their hand. Find out more at 5-A-Day Portion Sizes.

Fruit: Vegetables: Beans & Pulses: Fruit / vegetable juice or smoothies Dried Fruits
80g 80g 80g 150ml 30g
  • 2 or more small fruits - eg 2 plums, 2 satsumas, 2 kiwis, 7 strawberries, 14 cherries or grapes
  • 1 medium size fruit - eg apple, banana, pear, orange
  • 1 slice large fruit - eg melon or pineapple
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables
  • a dessert bowl of salad
  • 1 medium tomato or 7 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of beans and pulses - eg baked beans, kidney beans, chickpeas
  • A combined total of 150ml
  • 1 heaped tablespoon - eg dried apricots, dates, figs or raisins

Note: Choose tinned fruit in natural juice (not syrup)

Note: Choose vegetables in plain water (without added sugar or salt)

Note: Beans & pulses count as a maximum of one portion a day even if you eat more.

Note: Counts as a maximum of one portion a day even if you drink more than this.

Sugars contained in fruit are released when juiced or blended which causes damage to teeth. Drink these with main meals rather than on their own.

Note: Due to the sugar contained in dried fruits it is sensible not to eat them at meal times not frequently during the day as snacks to help protect teeth.

You can get more lots more information about fitting in your 5-A-Day, ideas for your family’s intake or recipes which include fruit and vegetables on the NHS Choices website.

Five ways to your 5-A-Day

Wake up to a portion or two at breakfast. Add fruit to breakfast cereal, such as frozen berries with porridge and have a glass of fruit juice.

Don’t have time for breakfast? Grab a whole piece of fruit like a banana as you run out the door.

At lunch include a handful of cherry tomatoes or add a side salad to your sandwich or meal. Beans, lentils or pulses in soups or salads add variety and count towards your 5-A-Day.

Vegetable sticks with dip offer a healthy snack. Try cucumber, pepper, carrot or celery sticks with reduced-fat hummus. Whole pieces of fruit are a quick snack too, including apples and pears.

Add a side of frozen or tinned vegetables when serving up main meals, broccoli or green beans for example. Or try adding vegetables in to the dish itself with grated carrot or a handful of sweetcorn or peas.

Have tinned fruit (in juice), such as pineapple, pears or berries, with natural yoghurt as dessert.



Healthy weight loss

It’s no secret … eating less and moving more is the key to losing weight. Reaching a healthy weight and staying at that weight has great benefits for our health and happiness. A healthy weight reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes. It can boost confidence and self-esteem. Other benefits include improved sleep, feeling more energised and being better able to concentrate.

Are you currently a healthy weight?

Just one in three Peterborough adults are a healthy weight. There is no ideal weight that suits everyone. Each person is different and your healthy weight is determined by factors that are unique to you. There are a couple of measurements you can use to check if you are currently a healthy weight.

  1. You can use Body Mass Index (BMI) to find out if your weight is in a healthy range. A BMI calculator uses your height and weight to calculate whether you are a healthy weight, underweight, overweight or obese. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.
  2. You can also check your waist measurement. If you carry more weight around your middle this may be unhealthy, even if your BMI is in the healthy range. A healthy waist measurement for males is 94cm or less and for females is 80cm or below.

If your BMI is overweight or obese and/or your waist measurement is above a healthy range losing weight would benefit your health.

How can you lose weight?

Eating a healthier, balanced diet and increasing your physical activity levels are the key to success. NHS Choices has lots of guidance to help you start losing weight

There are often media stories of people quickly losing a lot of weight. The evidence shows that you are likely to keep weight off once you’ve lost it if you lose weight gradually over a long period of time. Aim to lose around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1lb to 2lb) until you achieve a healthy BMI and/or waist measurement.

Eating well and having the right portion sizes will help you to lose weight. There are lots of fad diets out there but these are often extreme, difficult to stick to and may not provide all the nutrients your body needs. Although you may lose weight in the short term reverting back to old habits can see the weight pile back on. Instead the Eatwell Guide shows us a healthier way to eat and still loose weight. This shows that there are five important foods groups our bodies need to be healthy and how much of each food group we should eat.

Being more physically active is also important in losing weight and looking after your health. No matter what or how much you can do there are plenty of ideas for moving more and keeping active.

Set yourself some weight loss goals

You may feel you have a lot of weight to lose. Be realistic about reaching a healthy weight and the time this may take. Remember a healthy weight loss is around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1lb to 2lb). If you are overweight then starting with an initial goal to lose 5%-10% of your current weight gives you something to aim for.  It can be motivating to set yourself smaller weight loss goals towards your total weight loss aim e.g. reaching your first 2lbs, 7lbs and 1 stone.


The One You Easy Meals app is a great way to eat foods that are healthier for you. You'll find delicious, easy meal ideas to help get you going if you're ever short of inspiration. 

The Live Well 12 week weight loss guide combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity.  You get a brilliant information pack for each week of the plan, which is full of advice and tips, plus a brilliant stick-it-on-the-fridge planner to help you track your weekly progress.

Don’t Pass the Salt!

Many of us eat too much salt without realising. Perhaps you only add a pinch of salt when cooking or a sprinkle of salt to your food. So you may be surprised that most of the salt we eat is hidden in the foods we buy or eat out. Our diets contain a third more salt than the maximum guideline amount meaning we are eating too much. This can be harmful to our health. 

How much is too much?

Adults should have a maximum of 6 grams of salt per day, or about one teaspoon. We currently consuming above this with 8.1 grams and should make changes to reduce our salt intake. Children should have even less salt while babies 0-6 months should not have any. 

Why is too much harmful?

Too much salt can raise your blood pressure. This increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. High salt intakes are also linked to a number of other poor health conditions. Eating less salt can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk from associated diseases.

Ways to cut down on salt

Salt is found in lots of different foods and drinks. Mostly these are prepared foods and eating out all of which contribute about 75% of the salt we eat.

Cheese, smoked fish and meats, gravy granules and soy sauce are usually high in salt, along with a longer list of foods. Other foods often high in salt include pasta sauces, ketchup, soup, ready meals and sausages.

It is always best to check food and drink labels to choose a lower salt option by choosing a different brand or variety. Per 100 grams a high salt product will contain more than 1.5 grams while a low salt product will have less than 0.3g. Traffic light labels on many food and drinks give a quick guide to the nutrient content to show how healthy it is. Look for more green options to show a healthier product, some ambers and fewer red options which less healthy. 

Knowing that processed and convenience foods are often high in salt you have more control over the salt content if you are able to cook from basics following healthy recipes. Instead of adding salt when you cook try to use black pepper, herbs and spices.

Learn more about Salt: the facts and get Tips for a lower salt diet.



Be Food Smart

Public Health England's new Change4Life campaign urges parents to ‘Be Food Smart’ and take more control of their children’s diets.

Recent reports show that childhood obesity in England has reached alarming rates. 

A new "Be Food Smart" app has been launched which allows people to scan the barcode of everyday food and drink products and see how much total sugar, saturated fat and salt they contain. The new Be Food Smart app has something for everyone, such as tips and suggestions for adults, food detective activities for the kids and fun ‘mini-missions’ for the whole family. You can also find hints and tips to cut down on sugar on the Change4Life website.

The free app helps and encourages families to choose healthier options and works by scanning the barcode of products allowing parents to compare brands, and features food detective activities for children and mini missions the whole family can enjoy.

To see how much sugar is in your food and drinks, download the FREE Be Food Smart app.

The campaign also helps parents identify the health harms of children eating and drinking too much sugar, saturated fat and salt, including becoming overweight or obese and developing tooth decay.


Cut Back on Fat!

We all need to eat less fat to help keep ourselves healthy. Too much fat in our diet can cause us to gain weight and increase our risk of heart disease and stroke.

We do need some fat in our diet, as it helps us to absorb certain vitamins which keep our bodies healthy. The type of fat we eat is important though. Adults and children need to eat less saturated fat in particular. Making changes to our diet toeat less saturated fats and replace these with healthierunsaturated fats is better for our health.

Different Types of Fat

What is saturated fat?

Saturated fat is unhealthy as too much can increase our cholesterol which increases risk of heart disease and stroke. Most saturated fats are solid at room temperature and usually come from an animal source.

These include; lard, butter, ghee, goose fat, palm oil and coconut oil.

What is unsaturated fat?

Unsaturated fats are healthier for us and swapping saturated fats for unsaturated fats can help to lower your cholesterol. Unsaturated fats tend to come from plant sources.

These include olive, rapeseed and sunflower oils, nuts and seeds, avocados and oily fish.

All fats are high in calories and eating too much of any type of fat will lead to weight gain. Try to cut down on the saturated fats you eat by swapping these for unsaturated fats. Do not start eating more unsaturated fats without also reducing your saturated fat intake or this may result in you eating too much fat in total.

How can I eat less saturated fat?

Reduce consumption of saturated fats

…by swapping them for these healthier choices

Butter, lard, ghee, goose fat

Lower fat margarine or spreads

Coconut oil and palm oil

Olive oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil

Hard Cheese e.g. cheddar, red Leicester

Reduced fat cheese

Soft cheese e.g. cottage cheese, quark

Fat on meat e.g. rind on pork chop, minced beef, skin on chicken

Cut visible fat off of the meat e.g. rind on pork chop. Orremove the skin before cooking. 
Look for leaner meats e.g. chicken, turkey, 5% fat minced beef.
Also include 2 portions of fish a week, one of which should be an oily fish e.g. mackerel, herring, pilchards, sardines, salmon, trout and fresh tuna.

Meat products e.g. sausages, bacon, beef burgers

Choose back bacon instead of streaky bacon.
Look at foods labels for meat products with less saturated fat.

Biscuits, cakes & pastries

Nuts e.g. almonds, brazils, cashews, walnuts
Seeds e.g. sesame, sunflower, pumpkin
Fruit & vegetables - avocados are a good source of unsaturated fats.

Find more swaps here 

Changing your cooking methods can also help reduce the fat content of foods. Instead of frying or adding fat to help food cook try one of these cooking methods;

  • Baking
  • Boiling
  • Poaching
  • Microwaving
  • Steaming

Check the food label. Learning to understand food labels will enable you to make a healthier choice. You will be able to see if a food is high in fat, and then choose one which is lower in both fat and saturated fat.

Fat as part of a healthy diet

Oils and spreads are included as part of a healthy balanced diet. This is shown by the Eatwell Guide. Oils and spreads are the smallest section of the Eatwell Guide, which shows we only need to eat these in small amounts.

Foods which are high in fat are set to one side of the Eatwell Guide. This shows that while we may choose to eat these types of foods occasionally, we do not need them for a healthy diet and so should eat less of them. These foods include;chocolate, cakes, biscuits and ice-cream.

Following a healthy balanced diet will support you to stay well and maintain a healthy weight.





Takeaways and Eating Out

Having fewer takeaway meals can help you to save money and lose weight. Many takeaway foods are high in calories, fat, salt and sugar which all have an impact on your health. So by reducing your takeaways you can help to keep yourself healthier.

There are lots of small changes you can make to have a healthier takeaway. Remember that these foods are usually not the healthiest choice of meals though so try to reduce how often you eat them. These ideas also apply when eating out at a restaurant.

  • Firstly, try to recreate your favourite takeaway meals together at home with friends and family. They can taste just as good or even better!
  • If you are having a takeaway try to plan when and how often you will have these as an occasional treat. How often do you currently have takeaways? See how much you can cut this down.
  • Some restaurants now show the calorie content on their menus. Look for dishes with fewer calories.
  • Choose a regular or small portion instead of the large or super-size. Could you share a portion or save some for another meal?
  • Have thick-cut chips instead of skinny fries, as these absorb less fat.
  • Opt for pizza with more vegetable or lean protein toppings (e.g. ham, chicken or fish). Instead of extra cheese or pepperoni.
  • Sauces that are tomato or vegetable based are healthier than creamy and cheesy sauces.
  • Think about how the foods have been cooked. Swap fried foods for boiled or steamed instead such as with rice for example. Look for dishes which are grilled or stir-fried too.
  • Wait about 15-20 minutes before ordering desert, you might find you’re actually full and don’t even want one.

Find out more tips for healthier takeaways 

Healthier Cooking

You can put yourself more in control of your diet by cooking your own meals. It is much more difficult to manage the fat, salt and sugar content when you buy convenience foods or takeaways. It can be harder to control the portion size too. Having the confidence to cook using basic ingredients means you control what does and doesn’t go in to your food.

There are so many different recipes you can try. Here are just a few suggestions of places to look for healthier inspiration.

Find healthy recipes on a budget for the whole family at Change4Life. You can also download their Smart Recipes App. 

The One Your Easy Meals App is another great way to find delicious, healthier recipes.

There are plenty more recipe ideas on the NHS choices.  Pick up ideas for eating well for less too.

Get healthy South Asian cooking tips and recipes here.

Happy hydration

Water is a healthy and cheap choice for quenching your thirst at any time. It has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth. 

The Eatwell Guide says we should drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee all count.

It's easy to overlook, but choosing healthier drinks is a key part of getting a balanced diet. Many soft drinks – including instant powdered drinks and hot chocolate – are high in sugar. Food and drinks that are high in sugar are often high in calories, and having too many calories can make you more likely to gain weight.  Some energy drinks are high in both sugar and caffeine. Checking the nutrition labels on soft drinks such as fruit juices and fizzy drinks can help you make healthier choices.  Plain tea, fruit tea and coffee (without added sugar) can also be healthy. Find out more about other drinks.

Keeping hydrated can prevent or aid the treatment of constipation, low blood pressure, urinary tract infections (UTIs), pressure ulcers and falls.  Many of us think we’re tired because of lack of sleep or caffeine, we may be sleep deprived but the most common reason for tiredness is lack of water. Without water our bodies and organs would stop working properly. We need it for our bodies to function and perform.

Eat well - reduce your cancer risk

A healthy diet can reduce your risk of cancer. Some foods, such as processed foods, red meat and salt-preserved foods, can increase the risk of developing cancer, while others, such as fruits, vegetables and foods high in fibre, can reduce the risk of cancer.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help your body get all the nutrients it needs. Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre. Fruits and vegetables can also help you keep a healthy weight as they are relatively low in calories.

Try to consume a diet containing:

At least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day

• Plenty of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods: choose wholegrain foods where possible, as these contain more fibre

• Some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein

• Some milk and dairy foods

• Just a small amount of foods and drinks high in fat or sugars, such as cakes, crisps and biscuits

Eat more:

Fibre: Many studies show that foods high in fibre reduce the risk of bowel cancer. Fibre - rich foods include wholegrain pasta, bread, breakfast cereals, rice, pulses, fruit and vegetables

Eat less:

Processed and red meat: Strong evidence shows that eating lots of processed and red meat can increase the risk of bowel cancer, and possibly stomach and pancreatic cancer. Processed meat includes ham, bacon, salami and sausages. Red meat includes all fresh, minced and frozen beef, pork and lamb. Fresh white meat (such as chicken) and fish are not linked with an increased risk of cancer.

Salt-preserved foods: could increase the risk of stomach cancer. Salt-preserved foods include some pickled vegetables, salted fish and cured meats. Salt could increase stomach cancer risk by damaging the stomach lining, causing inflammation, or by making the stomach lining more sensitive to cancer-causing chemicals.

For more tips, recipes, and ideas on eating well visit NHS Choices.

Keeping a healthy weight to reduce cancer risk

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you keep a healthy body weight. After smoking, obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer. In England, over 60% of the population is overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of some cancers including:

  • Bowel cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Breast cancer if you are a woman who has been through the menopause
  • Cancer of the womb (uterus)
  • Kidney cancer

You can find out whether you are a healthy weight by using the BMI healthy weight calculator.  The good news is that small changes to your lifestyle that you keep up over time can lead to a reduction in bodyweight.

Ten top tips for a healthy weight:

1.   Eat regular meals and don’t skip breakfast – eat at the same time each day
2.   Choose reduced fat options e.g. dairy products, spreads and dressings

3.   Walk it off – fit in a brisk walk into your daily routine
4.   Pack a healthy snack e.g. fresh fruit instead of crisps or biscuits

5.   Watch out for food labels – check fat and sugar content on your food
6.   Be careful with your portion size and think twice before having seconds
7.   Give yourself a break from sitting – keep moving during the day
8.   Think about your drinks – choose water or sugar free options and limit fruit juice to one glass a day

9.   Focus on your food - don’t eat on the go
10. Don’t forget your 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day whether fresh, frozen or tinned

For some more ideas and tips to keep a healthy weight visit NHS Choices.  Try the One You Quiz for support to help you get back to a healthier you. 

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