All you need for the meat eater’s Summer 2022 Healthy Diet Plan

Everything you need to follow the meat eater’s Summer 2022 Healthy Diet Plan. Find the menu chart, all the recipes for the week, handy shopping lists and more.

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Welcome to BBC Good Food’s Healthy Diet Plan for summer 2022! This page contains everything you need for the whole week. Scroll down or click the links below to get started. Looking for a different plan? Discover our vegetarian menu or try our brand new vegan plan.

Our new Healthy Diet Plan has been exclusively developed by food writer Sara Buenfeld, with analysis and expert advice from registered nutritionist Kerry Torrens. With colourful fruit and vegetables, minimally processed foods and recipes loaded with healthy fats, fibre, lean protein and slow-release carbs, you can start this year looking and feeling your best.

The food we eat not only affects how we look, but also how we feel. Providing your body with the right nutrition through a healthy, balanced diet can help to improve mood, support energy levels and help you think more clearly. Our plan focuses on vibrant plants, fermented foods and wholegrains. Fermented foods, such as live yogurt, as well as wholegrains, fruits and vegetables supply lots of fibre, and have been associated with several positive health effects including better digestion, stronger immunity and improved mood. As a result, by following our plan, you can expect to feel more energised, improve your digestion and feel brighter and sharper.

For this plan, we’ve highlighted recipes that are especially good to enjoy post-exercise. For resistance training, protein is key for muscle repair, and for cardio and endurance training, you’ll need some energising carbs to replenish glycogen stores, as well as protein. Muscles are most receptive in the 30-minute window following exercise, so eat in this time frame if you can. Remember to drink plenty of hydrating fluids and, if necessary, include a small amount of sodium to replace any lost through perspiration.

How to use the plan

Use the chart below to see your weekly menu at a glance. Eaten in this order, each day will deliver a balance of protein, fat and carbs, helping you to manage hormonal and blood sugar levels, as well as optimal nutrient levels each day. You’ll also achieve all five of your five-a-day (or more) and keep within the recommended Reference Intakes (RI) for fats, protein, sugar, salt and calories, while following the latest guidance on your intake of ‘free’ sugars. As with any lifestyle or diet change, if you have any concerns or health issues, we would encourage you to check with your GP before embarking on our plans.

If this is a new way of eating for you, we suggest that you begin by introducing some of the recipes a day or two before starting the full seven days. This will allow your digestive system time to adapt to the more fibre-rich foods we’ve included. To help you supercharge your results, read our six tips to make the most of the plan.

Your shopping list for the week

To help you get organised, we’ve designed a handy shopping list so you can buy everything you need in one shop – just remember to check the packets for sell-by dates to make sure they’ll last until the end of the week.

Download the printable shopping list

Your menu chart for the week

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The recipes

Our plan covers breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves two people for seven days (often using leftovers for another day), although the recipes can be easily scaled up or down.

Get the vegan Healthy Diet Plan recipes.

Get the vegetarian Healthy Diet Plan recipes.

Breakfasts

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One-pan eggs & peppers

4 of 5-a-day, low cal, calcium, iron, vit C and fibre

Eggs with antioxidant-rich tomatoes make this a healthy and tasty choice for breakfast. It would make a great supper too. Eggs are a good source of leucine, an amino acid that helps energy production so this will keep you energised right up until lunchtime. This dish also offers a good source of protein and carbs for those following an exercise plan.

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Vegan strawberry pancakes

1 of 5-a-day, calcium, iron, folate, vit C and fibre

Make these pancakes fresh each morning for the best results. We’ve used soy milk and yogurt here but go for one that is fortified with nutrients like calcium. While it can be nice to try different foods regardless of diet, feel free to use regular milk if you’d prefer.

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Orange & dark chocolate yogurt bowls

1 of 5-a-day, calcium, folate, vit C and fibre

These delicious yogurt bowls have a secret layer of creamy cholesterol-busting oats cooked in soya milk to make them more substantial. Citrus fruits like oranges are rich in collagen-supportive vitamin C, so are great for skin health and elasticity.

Lunches

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Black bean soup with chunky raita

4 of 5-a-day, low cal, vit C and fibre

Spices are not just useful for adding flavour, colour and aroma; some cultures recognise their beneficial qualities. For example, it is thought that coriander may help to regulate cholesterol, while cumin has anti-inflammatory properties and may protect the cardiovascular system.

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Chicken skewers with broad bean hummus

3 of 5-a-day, low cal, low fat, gluten-free, calcium, iron, folate, vit C and fibre

Frozen broad beans make a great replacement for the more classic ingredient, chickpeas. Many people forget that frozen, dried and canned fruit and veg all count towards your five-a-day. These skewers can also be cooked on a barbecue if the sun is shining.

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Miso steak with noodle salad

3 of 5-a-day, low cal, vit C and fibre

Red meat is rich in B vitamins and an easy-to-absorb form of iron which fuels our energy levels. Buy the best quality you can afford. This dish also offers a good source of protein and carbs for those following an exercise plan.

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Fragrant biryani with coriander cod

2 of 5-a-day, low cal, low fat, calcium, iron, folate, vit C and fibre

As well as eating oily fish regularly, we should eat white fish too. It makes a great lean protein and is a useful source of some of the harder to get nutrients, like iodine. This dish also offers a good source of protein and carbs for those following an exercise plan.

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Wild salmon with radish & orange slaw

2 of 5-a-day, gluten- free, omega-3, folate, vit C and fibre

We all know we should eat oily fish at least once a week as it supplies omega-3 fatty acids– the beneficial kind that may help alleviate inflammatory conditions, reduce the risk of heart problems and keep our skin healthy. Many people find mackerel or sardines too strong in flavour, so salmon is a perfect option, plus it’s very versatile.

Dinners

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Quinoa with roast asparagus, eggs & capers

5 of 5-a-day, low cal,  gluten-free, iron, folate, vit C and fibre

This filling veggie salad packs in all five of your five-a-day, as well as providing vitamin C and iron. Asparagus is rich in brain healthy folate and supplies chromium, which helps balance blood sugar levels, along with the beans. This dish also offers a good source of protein and carbs for those following an exercise plan.

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Pork with cucumber & apricot couscous

4 of 5-a-day, high in iron, vit C and fibre

Aubergine skin is rich in protective anthocyanins – the same beneficial compounds found in blueberries. Fresh apricots are very underused and are a good source of beta-carotene, the plant form of vitamin A. We need this vitamin for the growth and functioning of many parts of the body, including the eyes, skin, and the immune system. This dish also offers a good source of protein and carbs for those following an exercise plan.

How to customise the plan

Everyone has different needs and lifestyle requirements, which is why our plans are easy to adapt. If you find you’re hungry or would like to increase the daily calories, try adding our healthier snacks and sweet treat suggestions. These recipes are all based around whole foods and keep the processed ingredients to a minimum.

If you want to mix up the menu so you can follow the plan in the longer term, or you don’t like a particular dish on the menu, you can swap it for one of our extra Healthy Diet Plan dishes that all follow the same nutritional guidelines as the recipes in this plan. Please bear in mind that adding snacks or swapping recipes will alter the overall calories and recommended daily intakes for the day.

About the Healthy Diet Plan

Still hungry?

The calories you need on a daily basis vary depending on your age, height, weight, sex and activity levels. There are numerous calculators you can use online to determine your optimum calorie intake. Our plan aims to provide between 1200 and 1500 kcals per day. For the average female who is moderately active, this should generate a shortfall, allowing for steady and controlled weight loss. For those who are hungry on the plan, require a higher calorie intake or are happy with their weight, take a look at our healthier snacks and sweet treat ideas or try our brand new snacks below. As with any lifestyle or diet change, if you have any concerns or health issues we would encourage you to check with your GP before embarking on our plans.

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Spicy microwave popcorn

Low cal, vegan, gluten-free

If you like a treat at the weekend this is so much healthier than a bag of crisps. The sesame oil contributes to the flavour and helps the flavourings stick, but you could use olive or rapeseed oil instead.

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Hummus snack packs

3 of 5-a-day, low cal, low fat, gluten free, vegan, fibre

Not everyone likes or can eat tahini, the sesame paste, so here is a hummus without it. We’ve added veg sticks as dippers, but you could spread it on unsalted oat or rice cakes and top with tomatoes instead.

A note on fat

Fat is in most of the foods we eat – meat, fish, nuts, seeds and grains as well as dairy and eggs. Obtaining fat from these whole foods is a healthier way of getting this essential macronutrient. We need fat for healthy skin, to boost our mood and improve concentration, as well as for a high-performing immune system. Our recipes include healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, yogurt and olive oil rather than refined ones. That’s because all fats are not equal – we should avoid processed, refined fats and oils and limit (but not exclude) our intake of the saturated variety.

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A note on dairy

Whole milk and yogurt are great sources of essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. With that said, if you prefer the taste of semi-skimmed milk and reduced-fat yogurt or you’ve been advised to reduce your sat fat intake, you can swap for these. You’ll still reap the benefits from the calcium and protein that dairy contains. If you would rather go dairy-free, we recommend choosing fortified versions of your favourite dairy-free milk and yogurt.

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A note on sugar

We’ve used naturally sweet ingredients where possible like fruit, dried fruit and certain vegetables to slash the amount of added ‘free’ sugars in our recipes.

Please email any questions about the recipes to goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk and we’ll do our best to help.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. Any healthy diet plan featured by BBC Good Food is provided as a suggestion of a general balanced diet and should not be relied upon to meet specific dietary requirements. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.