New Eatwell Guide revises dietary advice

A healthy diet should include more fruit, vegetables and starchy carbohydrates, and have fewer sugary foods and drinks. This is the new advice from Public Health England (PHE) in their newly published Eatwell Guide.

This Guide replaces the previous eatwell plate and revises the proportions of food groups that help us meet dietary recommendations. There is now greater prominence for fruit, vegetables and starchy carbohydrates, preferably whole grain, so as to meet the recommended 30 grams of fibre a day, which PHE believes most people don't achieve.

For the first time, drinks recommendations are also now displayed, making it clear that adults should aim to have six to eight glasses of fluids per day ideally from water, lower fat milks, and unsweetened tea or coffee. Sugary soft drinks have been moved to the periphery of the Guide to reflect advice that they are not an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet. In addition, the recommendation for fruit juice and smoothies is to limit these to 150ml per day due to their sugar content and that no matter how much is consumed, it still only counts as one of your five a day. The Eatwell Guide also includes messages on labelling to help people choose, cook and eat healthier options.

Dr Lisa Jackson, from the Association for Nutrition and chair of the external reference groups supporting PHE in this work, said: “As a GP it is important that I have engaging and meaningful resources like the Eatwell Guide to support my patients to eat more healthily. I encourage professionals helping people to follow a healthy, balanced diet to use the new Eatwell Guide which will help reduce their risk of developing long-term illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.”

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