Non-starchy vegetables

Vegetables

  • Salad (pepper, cucumber, tomato, celery, lettuce, salad leaves, radish)
  • Root vegetables (beetroot, carrot, celeriac, daikon, parsnip, swede, turnip)
  • Courgette, aubergine, marrow, pumpkin, squash, butternut squash
  • Leafy greens (spinach, pak choi, swiss chard, kale)
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage, brussels sprouts
  • Corn, green / broad / runner beans, peas, mangetout
  • Onion, leek, garlic, fennel Mushrooms
  • Bamboo shoots and bean sprouts

Protein

Meat

  • White meat (chicken, duck, turkey)
  • Red meat (beef, lamb, veal, venison)
  • Pork

Fish and seafood

  • Tuna
  • White fish (basa, cod, haddock, halibut, plaice)
  • Oily fish (anchovy, mackerel, salmon, sardines, trout)
  • Shellfish (crab, lobster, prawns)
  • Molluscs (clams, mussels, oysters)

Eggs

  • Chicken, duck, goose, quail

Vegetarian meat alternatives

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh

Beans, legumes and pulses

Beans, legumes, and pulses provide carbohydrates as well as protein. See the Q&A section for advice on how to include these in your diet if you’re a vegetarian or vegan.

  • Lentils
  • Beans (soy, black, kidney, cannellini, borlotti beans)
  • Chickpeas (including hummus)

Dairy

We don’t provide specific serving guidelines for dairy. Instead, we suggest eating these foods mindfully and including them as part of a balanced meal.

  • Milk (whole, semi-skimmed, or skimmed)
  • Yoghurt (Greek or natural – no added sugar)
  • Cheese
  • Dairy alternatives (soya, oat, almond – no added sugar)

Fats

Oils

Saturated fats are the most stable for cooking at any heat due to their long shelf life and high smoke points. Choose oils with a high percentage of unsaturated fats for dressings and lower-heat cooking.

  • Butter or coconut oil (all-heat cooking)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (cold use and medium-heat cooking)
  • Cold pressed sesame oil and peanut oil (cold use and lower-heat cooking)

Nuts and nut butters

  • Peanut, almond, hazelnut, pine nuts, pistachio
  • Walnut, macadamia, Brazil nut, cashew
  • Nut butter (no added sugar)

Seeds

  • Milled flaxseed or linseed
  • Chia, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower seeds

Others

  • Avocado
  • Olives

The following are examples of one serving of healthy fats

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp natural nut butter
  • 2 tbsp olives
  • 1⁄4 of a medium avocado
  • 30g (2 tbsp) nuts

Carbohydrates

Grains

  • Wholegrain bread (no added sugar)
  • Wholegrain cereals (no added sugar)
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Buckwheat
  • Freekeh

Starchy vegetables

  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes
  • Plantain, yam, cassava

Fruits

We recommend pairing a piece of fruit with a protein and/or fat containing food, to slow down the release of sugar into your bloodstream. Fruit won’t count towards your servings of complex carbohydrates each day.

  • 1 medium apple or orange
  • 1⁄2 large banana
  • 2 plums (or similar sized fruits)
  • 2 small handfuls of berries
  • 80g tropical fruit (watermelon, pineapple, mango)
  • 1 handful of grapes

Complex carbohydrates

The following examples are one serving of complex carbohydrates and contain roughly 15g of carbohydrate. We recommend limiting your intake of complex carbohydrates to three servings per day.

  • 100g uncooked or 1⁄2 medium potato or sweet potato
  • 50g uncooked cassava, yam, or plantain
  • 100g tinned/cooked beans (rinsed and drained) or 30g dried lentils
  • 1 thin slice of wholegrain bread
  • 1⁄2 wholemeal wrap, pitta bread, or bread roll
  • 20g uncooked or 50g (roughly 1⁄2 cup) cooked brown rice or wholewheat pasta, or wholewheat cous cous
  • 25g uncooked or 75g cooked quinoa
  • 20g (approx. 1⁄3 cup) rolled oats or 3 tbsp homemade muesli / granola (no added sugar)
  • 2-3 wholegrain crackers (check the nutrition panel for grams of carbohydrate per serving)

Seasoning

Herbs

  • Basil, chives, parsley
  • Dill, marjoram, oregano, tarragon
  • Bay leaves, rosemary, sage, thyme
  • Coriander, mint, lemongrass, Thai basil

Spices

  • Cardamom, coriander seeds, cumin, turmeric
  • Caraway, paprika, saffron
  • Cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger, nutmeg

Foods outside these categories

Wondering about a certain food?

If it doesn’t fit within the categories listed above, chances are it’s best to choose something else.

Generally, we recommend that you take a break from ultra-processed foods, refined foods (nutrients removed), and items that have added sugar.

These foods can be very moreish and can cause further cravings. Examples include:

  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Confectionery
  • Crisps
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Sugar
  • White rice / bread / pasta
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