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Healthy eating

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health and can help you feel your best.

In this section you will find information on healthy eating, meal planning, myth busters and easy read information.

Eating well

Fake away don’t take away
The Fake away don’t take away booklet contains easy recipes for you to make at home.

The Eatwell Guide – Public Health England
The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what we eat should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet. The Eatwell Guide applies to most of us, whether we’re a healthy weight or overweight, whether we eat meat or are vegetarian, and no matter our ethnic origin. Anyone with special dietary requirements or medical needs might want to check with a registered dietitian on how to adapt this to meet their individual needs.

How healthy is your  diet? – British Heart Foundation
This questionnaire allows you to assess the nutritional value of your diet. Download the document, answer the questions and then read the additional information that will help you to consider making changes to your diet.

Portion sizes – The Association of UK Dieticians
It’s important to be aware of portion sizes as too much or too little of any type of food can increase our risk of health problems. This Food Fact Sheet will provide an overview of recommended portion sizes of typical foods. As every person is different, the recommended number of portions for each food will vary, but this sheet provides a good place to get you started.

Healthy Eating – The Association of UK Dieticians
It’s important to eat a range of foods from the main food groups to make sure you have a balanced diet. This Food Fact Sheet is about the basic information around healthy eating, including The Eatwell Guide.

Food and Diabetes Type 1 – The Association of UK Dieticians
People with Type 1 diabetes should eat a healthy balanced diet. Good diabetes control will help you lead a full and active life and prevent other health complications. This Food Fact Sheet will give you some brief information on Type 1 diabetes, including the effect of food on blood glucose level. Speak to your diabetes team about learning how to balance your insulin with your food intake in order to achieve good diabetes control.

Food and Diabetes Type 2 – The Association of UK Dieticians
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where your blood glucose is too high due to lack of insulin and/or insulin resistance. It is important to have good blood glucose control to reduce the risk of complications. This Food Fact Sheet will give you some brief information on Type 2 diabetes, including the effect of different types of food on blood glucose level. If overweight, losing weight is the most important thing you can do. Working with a dietitian will help you identify the lifestyle changes you can make.

Fruit and Vegetables: how to get five-a-day – The Association of UK Dieticians
By eating at least five portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables a day, you will not only look and feel better, but you will give your body many essential nutrients that it needs to maintain your overall long-term health. Read this Food Fact Sheet for information, advice and top tips.

Plant based Diets – The Association of UK Dieticians
People follow vegetarian diets for a variety of reasons – whatever your reason, plan your diet to ensure you’re getting all the required nutrients. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of life and have many benefits. These guidelines will help you enjoy all the health benefits and ensure you’re eating a nutritious and complete diet.

Fad Diets – The Association of UK Dieticians
This Food Fact Sheet has information on what a fad diet is and how to spot bad dietary advice. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to make healthier choices, eat a nutritionally balanced and varied diet with appropriately sized portions, and be physically active.

Weight Loss Factsheet – The Association of UK Dieticians
Want to lose weight and keep it off? Have you ever tried to lose weight but found it difficult? Lost a little and then regained it? If you have then this fact sheet is for you. Here you’ll find advice and tools that will help you start to achieve the goals you want.

Food for Thought – NHS
This link takes you to a library of NHS online self-help booklets. The Food for Thought booklet is available in a range of styles, including easy read, audio and video. The booklet covers topics such as adopting a healthy eating plan, understanding the psychological influences of eating, mindful eating, improving your body image and more.

Sugar Factsheet  – The Association of UK Dieticians
This Food Fact Sheet will help you to understand how sugar may affect your health and wellbeing. A limited intake of sugar is not harmful. However, many people in the UK have too many high-sugar foods and drinks in their diet too often, which is a risk to their health and has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and weight gain.

Carbohydrates Factsheet  – The Association of UK Dieticians
This Food Fact Sheet will help you to understand how carbohydrates may affect your health and wellbeing. Foods that contain carbohydrates are an important part of our diets and can be included as part of a healthy balanced diet. Less active individuals require less carbohydrate.

Fats Factsheet – The Association of UK Dieticians
Fats are an important part of a healthy diet; they provide the body with energy and with some important vitamins. They also provide essential fats, which the body is unable to make for itself. However, eating too much fat, or the wrong balance of fats can be unhealthy. This Food Fact Sheet will describe the different types of fats and their effects in the body.

Wholegrains Factsheet – The Association of UK Dieticians
Most of us eat too few wholegrains to get the health benefits from the whole range of nutrients they contain as we tend to eat more refined cereals. However, given the wide variety of wholegrain foods now available, it is easier than ever to make them the tasty staples of a healthy diet. This Food Fact Sheet gives you information and advice on how to eat wholegrains as part of a healthy diet.

Salt Factsheet – The Association of UK Dieticians
Salt plays a vital role in transporting water around the body, and in sending messages between the brain and the rest of the body. However, too much salt can lead to problems such as water retention, raised blood pressure, and ultimately a higher risk of heart attack, kidney disease and stroke. This Food Fact Sheet gives you information on how to include Salt as part of a healthy diet.

Alcohol Factsheet – The Association of UK Dieticians
The risk of developing a range of illnesses, including certain cancers, increases with any amount of alcohol you drink on a regular basis. However if people keep within the recommended limits, you can reduce this risk. This Food Fact Sheet gives you information about alcohol and some top tips on reducing the amount of alcohol you drink.

Services in your area

In this section you will find links to healthy eating and weight loss services in your area.

Online

  • Change4Life
    Adult, children and healthy eating advice for the general population.
  • Change4Life Scanner App
    Ever wondered how much sugar is in your fave cola or salt is in your sauce? That’s why the new Food Scanner app is here to help you and your family make healthier food and drink choices. You can download the app by clicking on the relevant links:
    Android App
    Apple App
  • Change4Life Smart Recipes App
    We all love tasty food but it’s not always easy to cook for the family if you’re short on time and the kids are picky. The Smart Recipe app from Change4Life is an easy way of helping you prepare tasty, healthier meals the whole family will love. You can download the app by clicking on the relevant links:
    Computer App
    Android App
    Apple App
  • Easy Meals App
    Remembering ingredients and keeping track of calories can be a hassle. This app helps you to do all of this and more. You can download the app on this website.
  • My Fitness Pal Apps
    Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, get healthy, change your habits, or start a new diet, MyFitnessPal has you covered. 88% of people who track on MyFitnessPal lose wight. Sign up for free and start living a healthier life today.
  • NHS Calorie Checker
    Check the calorie value of over 150,000 food and drinks, using this handy calorie checker. You can even search branded products.
  • NHS One You: Ways to Lose Weight
    Find resources such as the NHS adult weight loss plan created in collaboration with the British Dietetic Association. Also information on calculating your BMI, chatting to your GP and more.
  • Slimming World App
    Members share their amazing stories and videos. You can try two free 7-day menus and lots of delicious, healthy recipes. You can download the Slimming World app by clicking on the relevant links:
    Android App
    Apple App
  • Weight Watchers App
    The easy-to-use app offers access to thousands of delicious recipes, tools to help you monitor and meet your weight-loss goals, and the support you need each step of the way. You can download the Weight Watchers app by clicking on the relevant links:
    Android App
    Apple App

All Areas

Newcastle

  • Healthier City
    A range of information from Newcastle City Council designed to improve physical health and wellbeing. Includes sections on activity and wellbeing and healthy eating.

North Tyneside

  • Active North Tyneside – Healthy4Life
    Free family healthy lifestyle programme to help children and families make positive lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy weight. Evening and day time sessions are available Monday-Friday. Clubs run weekly after school for 8-10 weeks across North Tyneside. Children will take part in fun sports and activity sessions. Families will learn about healthy eating and how to make healthier choices through cookery sessions and food tasting. If you would like to know more call 0191 643 7454 or email CHAT@northtyneside.gov.uk
  • Sport North Tyneside – Good Youth Move
    Designed for young people age 14-17 years who are worried about their weight. A free 10-week gym programme where they will have access to gyms as well as getting nutritional advice and an exercise programme. If you would like to know more call 0191 643 7454 or email CHAT@northtyneside.gov.uk

Northumberland

  • Northumberland Integrated Wellbeing Service – Health Trainers
    Health trainers can work with you on one-to-one basis or in a group to support you come up with a plan of action to help you achieve your health goals. If you live in Northumberland and are over 16 you can use this service for up to 12 weeks. Appointments can be made near to where you live or work. You can self-refer, or be referred by your GP, nurse, or other health professional, by calling 01670 623840.
  • Northumbria Healthcare – Nutrition & Dietetics
    Food for Thought tier 2 and 3 weight management. This service is for people with a BMI over 30 or a BMI over 28 with co-morbidities; you can check with your GP or consultant if a referral can be made for you.

Sunderland

  • Lifestyle Activity and Food Programme
    The programme is for families and children aged 5-15 years old who have been identified as being overweight. Self-referral and via school weight and measure programme. Call 0191 561 4686 for more information.
  • Sunderland’s Lifestyle, Activity and Food Programme
    This free 8-week programme is for families of children aged 5-15 who have been identified as overweight, live in Sunderland and registered with a Sunderland GP. Referral via school nurse, GP, other health professionals or by self; referral form available here. For more information call 0191 561 4691.

Useful websites and apps

In this section you will find links to useful healthy eating websites and apps:

  • BBC Good Food – Adult myth busting article on how to lose weight and keep it off.
  • Change4Life –  Adult, children and healthy eating advice for the general population.
  • Down’s Syndrome Association Healthy Living app – This app has been designed to help people with Down’s Syndrome and their parents or carers to make positive changes to their lifestyle through healthier eating and activity tracking.
  • Kids Health – Advice and information for kids, teens, parents and educators.
  • Mental Health Foundation – Diet and mental health advice for adults living with mental health problems.
  • MIND – Food and Mood explores the relationship between what you eat and how you feel, including tips on how to incorporate healthy eating into your life.
  • NHS BMI Calculator – Use this calculator to check your body mass index (BMI) and find out if you’re a healthy weight or you can use it to check your child’s BMI.
  • NHS One You: Eat Better – Website with lots of information on healthy eating. You can also download the Easy Meals app on this site to make it easier to search for recipes by meal time and create shopping lists.
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists – Healthy eating advice for adults living with mental health problems.
  • NHS One You: Ways to Lose Weight – Find resources such as the NHS adult weight loss plan created in collaboration with the British Dietetic Association. Also information on calculating your BMI, chatting to your GP and more.