Here you will find information for the general public who are interested in knowing about healthy eating , proteins in diet and beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat .

This is an important part of a normal healthy diet as such foods are good protein sources as well as other essential vitamins and minerals.Beans and pulses are inexpensive, fiber-rich and naturally lower than animal protein sources, and one portion per day can also be considered one of your 5 A DAY. Sustainable portion of fish per week should be at least two (2x 140 g) portions, including oily fish. Red-and processed meats should be eaten by higher consumers and should not be eaten more than 70 g a day on average.

Why eat these diet?

These foods provide a range of nutrients:

  • Protein – for growth and maintenance of normal muscles and maintenance of healthy bones.
  • Iron – found in red meat. Contributes to the normal formation of red blood cells and transport of oxygen around the body.
  • Zinc – found in meat. For maintenance of normal skin, hair, nails, vision and the immune system.
  • Vitamin B12 – found in meat and fish. For healthy red blood cells and nerve function.
  • Vitamin D – found in oily fish. For healthy teeth, bones and muscles.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – found in oily fish. Helps to maintain normal and healthy heart.
What essential things found in beans,fish, eggs and meat?
  • Beans and other pulses: including chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, peas, butter beans, baked beans, haricot beans, flageolet beans, soya beans
  • White fish (fresh, frozen or canned): including cod, coley, haddock, pollock, hake, plaice and tuna
  • Oily fish (fresh, frozen or canned): including salmon, sardines, mackerel, whitebait and trout
  • Shellfish (fresh, frozen or canned): including prawns, scallops, mussels, oysters, squid and crab
  • Meat, poultry and game: including chicken, turkey, beef, pork, lamb duck, goose, bacon, sausages and burgers
  • Vegetarian meat alternatives:  including tofu, mycoprotein for example ‘Quorn™’
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins

They are all plant-based protein sources so we will seek to incorporate more of these foods in our diets. Pulses can be popular alternatives to meat because they are inexpensive but naturally have low fat and are a large source of proteins, fiber and many vitamins and minerals. For a healthy source of protein, pulses can be a perfect substitute for people who do not consume meat, fish or milk products and therefore lack the food protein. Be sure to pick the choices that are low in salt and sugar when shopping for food, if you buy canned pulses.


  • We should be eating at least two portions (2 x 140g cooked weight) of sustainably sourced fish per week, including a portion of oily fish (we will explain a little more about sustainability below).
  • In the UK, people should be trying to eat more fish, as average fish consumption among adults is only 54g per week (well below the recommendation of two 140g portions per week).
  • Fish and shellfish are good sources of lots of vitamins and minerals. However, in particular, oily fish are natural sources of vitamin D and are the richest source of a special type of fat called long chain omega-3 fatty acids, which may help to prevent heart disease.
  • To make healthier choices with fish, we should try and grill, bake, steam or poach fish rather than frying. We should also watch out for fish products in batter, pastry or breadcrumbs as they can be high in fat and/or salt.

Although currently we should be eating more fish, there are set government recommended maximum amounts for oily fish, some white fish and crab, as they can contain low levels of pollutants that may build up in the body. These recommendations are set to keep the intake of these pollutants to very low and safe limits:

 Type of fish Population group Recommendation for fish consumption
Oily fish all types General population No more than 4 portions per week
Women planning pregnancy and women who are currently pregnant or breastfeedingNo more than 2 portions per week
SwordfishGeneral adult population (including breastfeeding women)No more than 1 portion per week
Children (under 16) Women planning pregnancy and women who are currently pregnant Should not consume swordfish (as it contains more mercury* than other fish)
White fish shark and marlin General adult population (including breastfeeding women)No more than 1 portion per week
Children (under 16) Women planning pregnancy and women who are currently pregnantShould not consume marlin (as it contains more mercury* than other fish)
White fish sea bream, sea bass, turbot, halibut and rock salmon General population (who regularly eat lots of fish)Avoid eating these types too often
Shellfish brown crab meat General population (who regularly eat lots of fish)Avoid eating too often
Canned tuna   Women planning pregnancy and women who are currently pregnantNo more than 4 cans of tuna per week

Fish and Sustainability

To ensure there are enough fish to eat now and in the future, we should try to eat a wide variety of fish and to buy fish from sustainable sources.

‘Sustainable’ fish or shellfish are those that don’t cause unnecessary damage to other marine animals and plants, and are caught or produced in a way that will allow fish stocks to be replenished. Some stocks are believed to be more abundant, such as coley, gurnard and mackerel.

Meat, poultry and game

Meat, poultry and game are important for a healthy and balanced diet because it is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, iron and zinc included. But the Health Department has recommended that those who eat red and treated meat more than 90g (cooked weight) a day reduce it to 70g. It is because of the correlation between high intake and an increased risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer. Red meat is a strong source of iron and applies to beef, lamelon, and pork.

The term ‘processed meat’ refers to meat that has been smoked, cured, salted or has preservatives added, and includes sausages, bacon, ham, cured meats like salami, pates and reformed meat products.

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