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Balancing your diet

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We're making good food even better

Our promise: We're already making mealtimes healthier by cutting salt without compromising taste - and we're planning to bring you even more delicious, healthier foods. We'll be focusing on the nutritional benefits across our range, as well as reducing the amount of salt, sugar and saturated fats.

What is a balanced diet?

We believe that a balanced diet is a good diet and a balanced lifestyle can help you to feel good - everyday. But what is balance? As we are all different shapes and sizes, a one-size-fits-all approach may be too simplistic in most cases.

We need over 40 different kinds of vitamins and minerals every day for good health. Since we can’t consume a single food that contains them all, for nourishment it is important to eat a wide variety of foods each day, in the right balance for you.

Often food pyramids or eatwell plates are used to try and help you visualise what balance is, but as we are talking meals, days, weeks and months worth of eating, this can sometimes get a bit confusing.

Whatever your lifestyle or lifestage, we can help you to find your balance the Waitrose Way, by enjoying a wider variety of healthy foods.

Find your balance

Choosing foods for a healthy diet doesn't mean giving up your favourites. What matters is variety and a change towards eating more of the foods that provide us with the nutrients we are not getting enough of. It is also important to choose lower fat varieties where possible, as eating too much fat, especially saturated fat, can have a bad effect on cholesterol, which can increase your risk of coronary heart disease.

Don’t worry, we’ve made it easy by grouping the main principles together for you to follow - don’t put it off, start today!

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1) Eat more fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and fibre and are naturally low in fat and sodium (the component of salt). They provide a good source of vitamins A, C, B6, folate and minerals such as iron, and calcium.

Eating more fruit and vegetables is one of the most important things we can do to improve our health, linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, strokes and some cancers. Choose a wide variety of colours to ensure you are getting a balance of nutrients.

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2) Eat more wholegrains, beans and pulses

Along with fruits and vegetables, starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta should form the major part of most meals and snacks. Besides providing us with energy, these foods contain fibre, B vitamins and minerals such as zinc and iron. Wholegrain varieties are the best choices as they provide us with more of these nutrients. In addition, we digest wholegrain foods more slowly so they can help us to feel full for longer.

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3) Eat more fish

Oily fish are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are a type of unsaturated fat that helps to keep our hearts healthy. Omega 3 has been shown to have a variety of functions that help to reduce the risk of heart disease, such as improving the flow of blood around our bodies, reducing inflammation and preventing irregular heart rhythms.

White fish is an excellent, low fat source of protein, which our bodies need for growth and repair and contains vitamin B12 and the mineral selenium. We should all be eating two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily.

Use the guide below to choose a fish you want to try and follow the link to recipe inspiration.

Oily fish

White fish

Herring Sea Bass
Sardines Sea Bream
Pilchards Cod
Tuna Haddock
Salmon Hake
Trout Coley
Snapper Whiting
Tilapia Mullet
Kipper Halibut
Mackeral Lemon Sole
Plaice

Find out more about what makes these fish nutritious and delicious here.

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4) Choose lower fat meat

Lean meat such as trimmed beef cuts and venison and skinless poultry such as chicken and turkey are an excellent low fat source of protein, which our bodies need for growth and repair. They contain many nutrients such as vitamin B12 and the minerals iron and zinc.

Find out more about Waitrose meat here.

Find out more about Waitrose poultry here.

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5) Choose lower fat dairy

Lower fat dairy products such as skimmed and semi-skimmed milk, low fat yogurts, reduced fat cheddar and cottage cheese, low fat fromage frais and crème fraiche provide us with protein, important vitamins such as A, B12 and riboflavin, and calcium, a vital mineral for healthy bones.

Children under five should be given whole milk dairy products (with the exception of semi-skimmed milk which over twos can have) as these contain essential nutrients for early growth.

Find out more about Waitrose dairy here.

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6) Choose lower fat dressings and sauces

Dressings and sauces add extra flavour to many dishes, but they can contain large quantities of fat, sugar and salt. To continue enjoying these and keep your total energy and fat intake within healthy quantities, simply choose lower fat varieties. Our new LOVE Life range offers a variety of delicious dressings and sauces, developed by our chefs and nutritionists, making it easier for you than ever before.

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