The Eatwell Guide has been developed from evidence-based nutrition advice and is designed in a visual form to help people understand how to balance their meals.
The Department of Health guidelines for nutrition are designed to allow consumers to make an informed choice in relation to their nutritional choices and hopefully make healthy choices.
In 1994 the governments food guide, “The Balance of Good Health” was launched as a way of promoting the Governments nutritional recommendations. In 2007 the Food Standards Agency revised the model and renamed it the, “Eatwell Plate”. It was accepted by the UK and Devolved governments. In 2013 Public Health England, (PHE) assumed responsibility for the, “Eatwell Plate”.
In 2015 the new recommendations for free sugars, a maximum of 5% of dietary energy, and fibre an increase to 30g a day for adults from 18g a day. The recommendation that carbohydrates should be maintained at an average of approximately 50% of total kilocalorie intake. PHE wanted to ensure, as part of its role in promoting evidence based public health, that guidelines were aligned with delivery of a diet consistent with these new recommendations.
What are the main dietary messages of the new Eatwell Guide?
1. Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
2. Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates; choosing wholegrain versions where possible.
3. Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks); choosing lower fat and lower sugar options.
4. Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily).
5. Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts.
6. Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day.
7. If consuming foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar have these less often and in small amounts.
As with all guidelines there will be some people who are not able to follow all of them, so long as you do what is best for you, you will be healthy.