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Eating Well and Weight Management

Eating a balanced diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.  This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

After a cancer diagnosis, many people find making the decision to follow a healthy, balanced diet helps give them back a sense of control. It can also help you feel that you are doing the best for your health.  Eating well and keeping to a healthy weight will help you keep up your strength, increase your energy levels and improve your sense of well-being.

Some cancer treatments can increase the risk of other health problems, including diabetes, heart disease or osteoporosis (bone thinning). If you have been told that you may be at an increased risk of any of these conditions, it is especially important to follow a healthy diet to help prevent them.

Food groups in your diet

The Eatwell Guide shows that to have a healthy, balanced diet, people should try to:

* Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day (see 5 A Day)

* Base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta

* Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)

* Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein

* Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts

* Drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)

If you're having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.

Try to choose a variety of different foods from the 5 main food groups to get a wide range of nutrients.

Most people in the UK eat and drink too many calories, too much saturated fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.

Before making changes to your diet, it can help to talk to a dietitian, your GP or a specialist nurse. This may be particularly useful if you have any special dietary requirements or medical needs.

The Wellbeing for Life team have created some fantastic easy to follow recipe videos. Click here to access them.

'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough - could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'

Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community Hospital