The UK Government’s Eatwell Guide – which has replaced the Eatwell Plate – has been revised following recommendations made by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).
The guide, issued by Public Health England (PHE), is a visual representation of the government’s advice on what a healthy balanced diet should include and is based on the five food groups.
So what’s changed?
There is greater prominence for fruit, vegetables and starchy carbohydrates, preferably wholegrain, in the new guide and it recommends consuming 30g of fibre a day.
Sugary soft drinks have been removed from the graphic and foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar have been moved to the periphery of the guide to reflect, says PHE, advice that they are not an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet. It advises that adults should have less than 6g of salt a day and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men.
The advice that only a 150ml serving of fruit juice counts as one of the recommended five a day has been extended to include smoothies to acknowledge, PHE says, the high sugar content of smoothies. The guide also now displays drinks recommendations which show that adults should aim for six to eight glasses of fluids (preferably water, lower fat milks and unsweetened tea or coffee) per day.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, commented: “Our new Eatwell Guide helps people to understand what a healthy balanced diet looks like. The evidence shows that we should continue to base our meals on starchy carbohydrates, especially wholegrain, and eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day.
“On the whole, cutting back on foods and drinks that are high in saturated fat, salt, sugar and calories would improve our diets, helping to reduce obesity and the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease and some cancers. A smoothie, together with fruit juice, now only counts as one of your five a day and should be drunk with a meal as it’s high in sugar.”