Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts

The foods on this shelf provide protein for growth and repair. They are also the main source of iron for healthy blood. 

How many servings should I have every day?

Choose two servings a day.

What types of food should I eat?

Go for a variety of choices. Choose lean meat, trim excess fat from meat and remove skin from poultry. Limit processed meats such as bacon or ham, because these are usually high in fat and salt. You do not need large amounts of meat and poultry to satisfy your nutritional needs.

Iron rich foods such as red meat and egg yolks are important for children, teenagers and women. Have a vitamin C food or drink (such as orange juice) in the same meal with the iron-rich food to increase the amount of iron you absorb.

Try to have fish at least twice a week and oily fish at least once a week. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should limit their consumption of tuna to no more than one serving a week.

Other good sources of protein are beans and peas when eaten with wholegrain breads, rice or pasta. They are also fat-free. If you are a vegetarian and get your protein regularly from cheese, always choose lower fat cheeses.

What is a serving?

The actual portion that you eat may be bigger or smaller than the servings listed in the Food Pyramid. For example, one egg would count as ½ a serving, but 150g of meat would count as two servings.

One serving is

  • 50-75g cooked lean beef, lamb, pork, mince or poultry (half size of palm of hand)
  • 100g cooked fish, soya or tofu
  • ¾ cup beans or lentils
  • 2 eggs
  • 40g unsalted nuts or seeds