It's a good idea to try to get this balance right every day, but you don't need to do it at every meal. You might find it easier to get the balance right over a longer period, like a week. Try to choose options that are lower in salt when you can.
Eating healthily is about eating the right amount of food for your energy needs. In England, most adults are either overweight or obese. This means many of us are eating more than we need, and should eat and drink fewer calories to lose weight.
Based on the eatwell plate, try to eat:
Plenty of fruit and vegetables
Did you know that we should be eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day?
Plenty of potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy foods
Choose wholegrain varieties whenever you can, or eat potatoes with their skins on for more fibre.
Some milk and dairy foods
Go for lower-fat milk and dairy foods. These are healthier options to help you get enough protein and calcium.
Some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
These are important sources of protein, vitamins and minerals, and form part of a healthy, balanced diet.
More on meat, fish, eggs and pulses.
Just a small amount of food and drink that is high in fat or sugar
You can cut down on fat and sugar by eating fewer sweets, cakes and biscuits, and drinking fewer sugary soft drinks.
Is the eatwell plate for me?
The eatwell plate applies to most of us - whether we're a healthy weight or overweight, whether we eat meat or are vegetarian, and no matter what our ethnic origin.
However, the eatwell plate doesn't apply to children under the age of two, because they have different nutritional needs. From the ages of two to five, children should gradually move to eating the same foods as the rest of the family, in the proportions shown on the eatwell plate. Read more about babies, toddlers and young children's nutritional needs in Breastfeeding: the first few days and Your baby's first solid foods.
Anyone with special dietary requirements or medical needs might want to check with a registered dietitian whether the eatwell plate applies to them.
Further information on healthy eating
There is lots more information and advice on Food and diet on NHS Choices.
To help you get started, read:
Got a question about the eatwell plate? Email the eatwell plate team at Public Health England: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article provided by NHS Choices