Foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt

These foods should be avoided as they are high in fat, including saturated fat, sugar and salt. They may promote obesity, which can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers

How many servings can I have a day? 

There are NO recommended servings for this group because they are not essential. Start today and limit what you eat from this shelf to not every day - maximum once or twice a week. Don’t be tempted to swap eating healthy foods so you can have more of these foods high in fat, sugar and salt. You need healthy foods in the serving sizes recommended to provide all your vitamins and minerals.

The following examples are about 100 calories – so check the label when choosing foods high in fat and sugar.
  • About 4 squares of chocolate (half a bar)
  • 1 small or fun-sized chocolate coated bar
  • 1 bag of lower-fat crisps
  • 1 small cup cake (without icing)
  • 1 plain mini muffin
  • 2 plain biscuits or 1 chocolate biscuit
  • ½ a can or 200ml of sugary drink
  • 1 scoop of vanilla ice-cream
  • ½ or 1 cereal bar - check the label for calories
  • 5-6 chips

If you add sugar to your tea, coffee or breakfast cereal, gradually reduce the amount you add until it’s little or none.


Alcohol is not essential for health and is not recommended for children under 18 years. One standard drink (equal to 1 glass of beer, lager, a small glass of wine and a single measure of spirit) contains about 100 - 150 calories.

For low risk drinking the weekly limits are:

  • Up to 11 standard drinks a week for women (112g of pure alcohol)
  • Up to 17 standard drinks a week for men (168g of pure alcohol)

These are weekly limits not targets to be reached. Do not take more than 5 standard drinks in one sitting and have 3 alcohol free days during the week. Drinking more than the weekly limit can increase your weight and your blood pressure, putting you at risk of heart disease and stroke. It can damage your liver and can increase your chances of getting cancer, including breast cancer.

Alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding and is best avoided while trying to conceive a baby.

Further information