Food Groups

BMlogoThe below list is a guideline of alternatives to the items in the meal plans in the diet sheet. It is recommended that you vary your diet, and where it is listed in the meal plans to have e.g. a cup of broccoli you can switch this with the vegetables listed out below. The guideline foods: carbohydrate, protein, fat and kcal values are approximate values only, and are laid out to help you create the most varied enjoyable diet possible.


Each contains 12g carbohydrate, 8g protein, 0.5-5g fat and 87 – 124kcal approx.

Milk is your best source of calcium. It is also a good source of protein, phosphorous, B complex vitamins and vitamin A and D.

Household measure Metric measure
Skimmed milk 1 cup 250ml
Skimmed milk powder 2 tbsp. 25g
Fat free natural yoghurt (made from skim milk) 1 cup 250ml
Soy milk 1 cup 250ml
Soy milk powder 2 tbsp. 25g


Each contains 10g carbohydrate and 40kcal approx.

Fruits are valuable sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre (especially vitamin C in citrus fruit and fruit juices).

Fruit may be used fresh, dried or canned as long as no sugar is added.

Household measure Metric measure
Apple – fresh/tinned 1 small 110g
Apple – dried 5 rings 15g
Apple sauce, unsweetened ½ cup 125ml
Apricot – fresh/tinned 2 medium 100g
Apricot – dried 4 halves 20g
*Banana – fresh 1 small/ 80g
½ medium  
Berries – fresh/tinned ¼ cup 120g
Cherries – fresh/tinned 10 large 100g
*Currants – dried 1 heaped tbsp. 15g
Dates – dried 2-3 medium 15g
Fig – fresh/tinned 1 large 60g
Fig – dried 1 large 15g
Fruit salad – fresh 2 heaped tbsp. 70g
Gooseberries – fresh / tinned ¾ cup 120g
Passion fruit – fresh / tinned 6 medium 100g
Grapefruit – fresh / tinned ½ large 150g
*Grapes – fresh 10 medium 60g
Guava – fresh 2 small 100g
Kiwi fruit – fresh 1 medium 90g
Lychees – fresh 5-6 medium 90g
Mango – fresh 1 small 85g
Mulberry – fresh 1 cup 100g
Orange – fresh 1 small 130g
Papaya – fresh, cubed ⅔ cup 90g
Peach – fresh / tinned 1 medium 115g
Peach – dried 2 halves 20g
Pear – fresh / tinned 1 small 90g
Pear – dried 2 halves 15g
Pineapple – fresh ½ cup 90g
Pineapple – tinned 3 rings, 90g
Plum – fresh 2 medium/3-4 small 100g
Pomegranate – fresh  small 135g
Prune – dried 2 medium 20g
*Raisins/sultanas – dried 25ml/2 tbsp. 15g
Raspberries – fresh ½ cup 80g
Strawberries – fresh 1 cup/12 medium 150g
Sweetmelon – fresh ¼/150mm diameter 150g
*Watermelon – fresh, cubed ¼ cup 130g
*Fruit juices – fresh, unsweetened ⅓ cup 80ml

*These fruit are naturally high in glucose and should therefore be limited. Please note: all very ripe fruit/tomatoes should be avoided due to high glucose content.



Each unit contains 15g carbohydrate, 2g protein and 68kcal.

Wholewheat products and legumes/ pulses are good sources of fibre, B complex vitamins and iron.


Household measure Metric measure
Rye Bread 1 slice 30g
Rice / corn cakes 3 30g
Cracker Bread (maize variant) 3 30g
Rice/pasta/ maize/corn kennels ½ cup 125g
Boiled/baked potato 1 medium 80g
Mashed potato ½ cup 125ml
Sweet potato ¼ cup 65g
Sweetcorn (canned without sugar) ½ cup 90g
Popcorn (unsweetened) 3 cups 55g
Barley ½ cup 60g
Raw Oats ¼ cup 25g
Traditional Muesli ½ cup 50g



All the foods in the meat group are good sources of protein and many are also good sources of iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and other B-complex vitamins.

Cholesterol is of animal origin. Foods of plant origin have no cholesterol. Be certain to trim off all visible fat and to remove the skin off poultry before cooking.


Each cooked serving contains 7g protein, 3g fat and 55kcal approx.

Legumes/pulses contain a minimum amount of fat and large amounts of carbohydrates in varying amounts.

Household measure Metric measure
Baked beans / butter beans ⅓ cup 90g
Dried beans e.g. kidney / haricot / chickpeas / split peas/ lentils ⅓ cup 70g
Soya beans ¼ cup 40g
Egg whites 2 whites  
Fat free cottage cheese ¼ cup 65g
Rump / sirloin steak 30g
Lean mince 2 leveltsp. 30g
Roast beef 30g
Steak and kidney stew 1 heaped tbsp. 40g
Veal 30g
Venison, lean 1 heaped tbsp. 30g
Ham, lean 2 thin slices 40g
Pork,roast 30g
Mutton, roast 30g
Chicken(skinless)  –  
–          Drumstick 1 small 40g
–          Wing 1 small 40g
–          Breast small 40g
–          Thigh ½ medium 40g
Turkey (skinless) 40g
Kidney, lamb 1 kidney 30g
Kidney, beef ¼ kidney 30g
Liver, beef and lamb 30g
Meat spreads e.g. liver pate 6 level tsp. 30g
Crab, tinned ½ cup 70g
Haddock 7x6x1,5cm 50g
Mussels / oysters, tinned or fresh ⅔ tin 70g
Pilchards in tomato sauce ½ pilchard 40g
Prawns, boiled 3 medium / 7 small / 2 large 50g
Rock lobster ½ tail 60g
Shrimps 20-25 50g
Sardines in brine, drained 2 30g
Sole, steamed 1 baby 60g
Trout, steamed 5×6,x3cm 40g
Tuna, canned in water/ brine 2 heaped tbsp. (½ tin) 40g
Hake / Cod 5×5,5x3cm 70g



Each contains 7g protein, 5g fat and 74kcal approx.

Household measure Metric measure
cheese, low fat 3x3x3cm 30g
cheese spread 6 level tsp. 30g
Egg, whole 1 medium 50g
Braised beef 12x6x0.5cm 30g
Lean oxtail 5x5cm 30g
Ham, regular 2 thin slices 40g
Pork chops ⅓ medium 30g
Mutton chops – loin chops ⅓ medium 30g

– rib chops

1 small 30g
Calamari, fried ½ cup 50g
Kipper/ herring 12x7x1cm 50g
Herring, pickled 12×4,5x1cm 30g
Caviar, fresh 2 tbsp. 35g
Salmon, canned ¼ tin 50g
Sardines in oil, drained 2 0g





Each unit contains 7g carbohydrate, 2g protein and 36kcal approx.

Vegetables are good sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Choose at least one green and one other coloured vegetable every day. Do not overcook vegetables and try to eat as much fresh vegetables as possible.

  Household measure Metric measure
Beetroot ½ cup 100g
Butternut squash ⅓ cup 70g
Carrots, cooked ⅔ cup 100g
Carrots, raw and grated ¾ cup 140g
Free vegetables, cooked with onion and potato ¾ cup 130g
Mixed vegetables ⅓ cup 65g
Onions, raw and cooked ½ cup 65g
Peas ⅓ cup 65g
Pumpkin ⅓ cup 70g
Unthickened vegetable soup ¾ cup
Thickened gravy/sauce 2 tbsp. 25ml
Tomato paste 1 tbsp. 15g
Tomato puree ⅓ cup 70g



If portion per meal exceeds 1 cup, count as restricted vegetable.


Artichokes Egg plant Radishes
Asparagus Rhubarb
Baby marrow Sour Cabbage
Broccoli Green beans Shallots
Brussels sprouts Pepper Spinach
Cabbage Leeks Spring onions
Cauliflower Lettuce Tomatoes
Celery Marrow Turnip
Chicory Mushrooms Watercress
Cucumber Parsley  




Each contains 5g fat and 45kcal approx.

This group is high in fat-soluble vitamins. Take 3 servings daily (women) and 5 servings daily (men)

Household measure Metric measure
Avocado ¼ small 30g
Bacon 1 rasher 10g
Butter 1 tsp. 5ml/g
Cream – thin 2 tbsp. 25ml
      – thick 1 tbsp. 12,5ml
*Margarine – soft tub 1 tsp. 5ml/g
*            – ‘light’ 1½ tsp. 7.5ml
             – *Light/low fat 2 tbsp. 25g/ml
Oil – *sunflower, soya or maize 1 tsp. 5ml
      – peanut, coconut or *olive 1 tsp. 5ml
Olives 9 medium 45g
Salad dressing – *French type 1 tbsp. 12,5ml


*These fats are preferable (especially on a low fat diet). The other food items should not be eaten more than once per month.