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Developed by the British Dietetic Association.


eating well what's a healthy diet?

Pasta and fork

(Page 2 of 3)
The Eatwell Guide
Are you Weight Wise?

Drinks: Making sure you drink enough fluids is just as important for good health as eating well.

Replacing fluid on a daily basis is vital. Most adults need to drink around 1.5 - 2 litres each day: more if the weather is hot. Filling up on fluids helps to reduce your appetite.

Be drink wise!

  • Water is the best and cheapest drink, so drink it plain, with ice and lemon or flavour with a low calorie squash or fruit juice
  • Tea and coffee (without sugar)
  • Sugar-free soft drinks, flavoured waters or squashes
  • Flavoured waters can make a pleasant change (usually contain only a small amount of sugar, but check the label)
  • Herbal and fruit teas
  • Low fat milk

Sweetened drinks, such as fruit squashes and fizzy drinks are high in sugar, so when you're cutting calories, opt for low calorie, 'diet' or no sugar choices.

It's OK to enjoy a drink or two as part of your healthy eating plan, but remember alcohol is high in calories (approx. 200 kcals for a pint of beer; 120 kcals for a glass of wine) and, if taken in excess is harmful to your health.

'Sensible' daily limits are:

  • For women: 2-3 units
  • For men: 3-4 units

A 'unit' is:

  • Half a pint of ordinary strength bitter, lager or cider
  • ½ small glass of red or white wine (100-125ml)
  • 1 small pub measure of spirits (25ml)
  • 1 small glass of sherry (50ml)

Beware of:

  • 'Alcopops'; strong beers, lagers and cocktails, as these are often higher in alcohol and calories than standard drinks.
  • Most wines are between 11-14% alcohol by volume meaning the a very modest 125ml of wine provides 1.4 to 1.75 units of alcohol and a 250 ml glass can contains as much as 2.8 to 3.5 units.

For your waistline and general health, keep well below the sensible limits and save alcohol for special occasions rather than drinking it every day. For more information on alcohol, see

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