Confusion over what is a healthy diet

CONSUMERS are confused about what constitutes a balanced diet, according to the official food watchdog.

Conflicting messages from various weight-loss diets might be one reason for this, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Many people do not realise it is important to eat lots of starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. There is also confusion over which products count towards the target "five a day" intake of fruit and vegetables. Only 11 per cent of people said it was important to eat lots of starchy foods, a survey of 2,094 people found, while 45 per cent realised that tinned fruit and vegetables counted towards the "five a day".

A balanced diet consists of about one-third fruit and vegetables; one-third bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods; 15 per cent milk and dairy foods; 12 per cent meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein and just 8 per cent food and drink high in fat or sugar.

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