Shifting The Balance

Shifting the balance is all about making a few simple changes or swaps to the foods and meals you like to eat to make them a little healthier. Often people think they can’t eat a better diet because they wouldn’t like the food.  But eating healthily isn’t about eating ‘rabbit food’.  Food should be enjoyable.

The table below gives you average requirements for teenage boys and girls. However you may not be gettingt his sort of balance in your diet and if so you will probably benefit from making some changes.

Burger and apple

Guideline Daily Amounts

Age Energy Calories (kcal) Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Fibre (g) Salt (g)
  Male symbol Female symbol Male symbol Female symbol Male symbol Female symbol Male and Female symbol Male and Female symbol
11-14 2200 1850 85 70 25 25 15 6
15-18 2750 2100 105 80 35 25 18 6
19+ 2500 2000 95 70 30 20 18 6
  • Male symbolMale
  • Female symbolFemale

Energy, Fat and Saturated fat too high?

If you think you are getting too many calories from fat in the food you eat you will neeed to cut down on fatty/oily foods.

If you were trying to lower your fat and energy intake at home you might do this by cutting down on fatty and oily foods. Such foods include butter, margarine, cream, oil, full cream milk, pastry, fried foods, fat/rind on meat, full fat cheese, processed foods like sausages, burgers. Also take care to make your meals more satisfying by adding more vegetables and salad. Fruit, fresh or dried, makes a great low-fat snack.

Fibre too low?

If you are not going to the loo as regular as you should or you are struggling to go, you may need to increase the amount of fibre you eat. You can get fibre from wholegrain cereals, fruit and veg, beans and lentils.

Salt too high?

It can be really hard to keep below the 6g maximum level. About 75% of our salt comes from processed foods so preparing meals from fresh ingredients often helps. Try to limit meals to no more than one processed food. Also avoid salt in cooking and don’t add it at the table. After a while you won’t miss it. Check out the labels of you favourite snacks for salt levels.

Amounts within your Guideline Daily Amounts

Well done. If your choice comes close to your Guideline Daily Amounts for energy, fat and saturated fat then you have chosen well. This might have given you some thoughts for new foods you could try out at home. If so try printing out your choice to use as a guide.