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Developed by the British Dietetic Association.


eating well what's a healthy diet?

Pasta and fork

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The Eatwell Guide
Are you Weight Wise?

Small changes to your daily diet can make big differences in the long run. Controlling the fat in your diet is one of the best ways to help you lose weight.

Each gram of fat contains 9 calories, twice as much as the starchy carbohydrates found in bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. So it makes sense to check out how much fat you eat and watch out for "hidden" fats.

How often do you eat fatty foods and snacks - could you eat smaller portions, eat them less frequently or opt for lower fat versions?

As a quick guide, use this rule of thumb to help you work out whether the amount of fat, sugar and saturated fat listed on food labels is a little or a lot. Cutting down on sugar is another way to cut calories, and eating too much saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease.

For a complete meal or 100g of a snack item (such as biscuits or crisps)
5g sugars A LOT
15g sugars
3g fat 20g fat
1.5g saturated fat 5g saturated fat
0.3g salt
1.5g salt

For more about heart disease see For more information on labelling see:

Wise up on fats
  • Switch to lower fat cooking methods: grill, bake, microwave, steam or boil
  • Use less fat in cooking: switch to an oil spray or measure out oil when cooking (1 teaspoon per person per meal). When you do use an oil, choose a pure vegetable oil e.g. olive; sunflower, corn or soya
  • Switch to reduced or low fat spreading fats and spread thinly
  • Cut the fat off meat before cooking
  • Remove the skin from chicken before cooking
  • Buy the leanest cuts of meat you can afford
  • Check the fat content before buying ready meals. Watch out for ready made sauces - cheesy and creamy ones are likely to be high in fat, and even tomato based sauces can be oily and so check the label
  • Switch to oil-free dressings, such as lemon juice and vinegar, or shop bought dressings providing less than 20kcals per serving (check the label)
  • Choose low fat dairy products: skimmed/semi skimmed milk; reduced fat cheese (or use small amounts of highly flavoured hard cheeses); low fat yogurt and fromage frais
  • Instead of cream, try half fat crème fraiche, or 0% fat Greek yogurt

Small Changes, Big Benefits
See just how many grams of fat and calories you can save by making some simple food swaps:

Swap Save
  2 chocolate digestives for 2 plain biscuits   113kcals
  5g fat
  Cream cake for currant bun   85kcals
  38g fat
  Can of fizzy drink for sparkling mineral water   138 kcals
  Milkshake for a diet drink   516kcals
  13g fat
  Large burger, large fries for a regular burger, regular fries   461kcals
  32g fat
  1 pint whole milk for 1 pint skimmed milk   200kcals
  22g fat
  Chocolate biscuit for an apple   89 kcals
  7g fat

Did you know, by making the food swaps above, you could save around 2000kcals and 150g fat! That's a whole day's energy intake for a woman.

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