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Eating a healthy and balanced diet can be tricky. Find out just how healthy your eating habits are.

Do starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals make up roughly one-third of what you eat each day?

Foods that have starchy carbohydrates should make up at least one-third of your diet. Healthy choices include higher fibre or wholegrain options such as wholewheat pasta and brown rice. Potatoes with their skins on are another good option.

 

Do you eat 5 portions (80g each) of fruit and veg every day?

A balanced diet should include at least 5 portions of fruit and veg each day. This helps ensure you get enough fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Fruit and veg should make up just over one-third of your diet.

 

Do you eat 2 or more portions of fish a week, including at least 1 portion of oily fish like salmon, trout or sardines?

Fish is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Oily fish is high in omega-3 fats, which can help guard against heart disease. For a healthy diet, eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including at least 1 portion of oily fish. Sardines, mackerel, trout, salmon and pilchards are all good options.

 

Do you eat more than 90g of red or processed meat each week? That’s around 3 thinly cut slices of beef, lamb or pork, each about the size of half a slice of bread

Although meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, too much red and processed meat may increase your risk of bowel cancer. For a healthy diet, try and limit red and processed meat to 90g a week.

 

As well as eating meat and fish, do you also eat protein in the form of beans, pulses, eggs or nuts?

Pulses, beans, peas and lentils are great sources of protein, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals. They are high in fibre and low in fat. Eggs are also good for protein, vitamins and minerals. Nuts should be eaten in moderation. While they’re high in fibre, they’re also high in fat.

 

Do you eat 2 to 3 portions of calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese and yogurt every day?

Dairy products and fortified dairy alternatives are good sources of calcium, protein and vitamins, such as B12, which are often low in vegan or vegetarian diets. Try to choose low-fat and low-sugar options like 1% fat milk and low-fat yogurt.

 

Do you have sugary foods and drinks such as cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks every day?

Having sugary foods and drinks on a regular basis can increase your risk of obesity and tooth decay. Checking food labels can help you cut down on sugar. If a food or drink has more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g, it means it’s high in sugar. 5g or less means it’s low in sugar.

 

Do you often eat products like sausages, butter, cream, pies and cakes that contain a lot of saturated fat?

You need some fat in your diet, but you should limit saturated fats. Swap butter, lard or ghee for a small amount of vegetable oil, olive oil or reduced-fat spread. Choosing leaner cuts of meat can also help.

 

Do you choose lower-salt options when shopping for your food?

Foods we eat every day – like breads and cereals – make up around 75% of the salt in our diets. Sauces, ready-meals and tinned products also often contain a lot of salt. To reduce your intake, check labels at the supermarket and try to swap your usual buys for lower-salt options. Cooking with less salt can also help.

 

Do you drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of fluid each day, such as water, low-fat milk, sugar-free or non-alcoholic drinks?

You should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of fluid every day to stay hydrated. Your liquids can come from water, sugar-free and non-alcoholic drinks, including tea and coffee, as well as low-fat milk. Skip soft and fizzy drinks – not only are they high in calories, but they are also bad for your teeth.

 

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