Eating disorders in south east Scotland
Forth Valley Fife Lothian Borders

Help and advice

A healthy approach to food and eating

Having a balanced diet involves eating regularly, from a range of foods and providing the adequate number of calories to meet your energy needs. This keeps your metabolism balanced, your body healthy and will result in a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI - see 'Body Mass Index').

A healthy approach to eating should result in a positive relationship with food, where you can enjoy eating a variety of foods in the company of others. This positive relationship will include...

1. Eating Regularly

It is important to eat three balanced meals a day and two snacks. This provides you with the energy you need to keep active.

2. Eating a range of foods

No single food contains all the nutrients needed for health, so try to eat a wide variety of foods each day. By choosing a variety of foods from ALL the five food groups most people get all the nutrients their body needs:
· Fruit and vegetables
· Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods
· Meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
· Milk and dairy foods
· Foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar

Using vitamin and mineral supplements is not a replacement for a balanced diet. Eliminating food groups from your diet is not good for your health and depletes the body of essential nutrients required for good health.

3. Consuming the appropriate amount of calories

Food energy is measured in calories (Kcal). Calories are broken down for energy use in the body by a process called metabolism. Calories are essentially used as fuel for your body, not only to keep you on the move but to provide the energy required for basic bodily functions such as breathing, and keeping your heart pumping. Metabolism can be affected by changes in food intake, frequency of eating or physical activity. On average a fully developed adult male requires 2500 kcal per day and a woman requires 2000 kcal.