The Eat Well Guide
The Eat Well Guide was released in 2016 and replaces the Eat Well Plate. There are a number of changes between the two but the ethos remains the same, we need to eat more fruit and vegetables and less unhealthy foods.
The Eatwell Guide shows the different types of foods and drinks we should consume – and in what proportions to have a healthy, balanced diet. We should be aiming to:
• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates; choosing
wholegrain versions where possible
• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks); choosing lower fat and lower sugar options
• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish
every week, one of which should be oily)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts
• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day
If consuming foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar have these less often and in small amounts.
Everybody should be aiming to eat 5 pieces of fruit and veg daily to provide your body with all the nutrients and vitamins it needs to function well. There is a lot of information available about how we can add 5 pieces of fruit and veg into our diets easily, including handy tips and actually what counts as one of your 5 a day.
Wholegrain and wholemeal varieties are healthier versions than the white versions, for example rice and bread. Try to eat wholegrain and wholemeal varieties where you can.
Eating fibre is also very important but it is something we all don’t eat enough of. Foods that contain a lot of fibre include wholegrain and wholemeal products, cereal, beans, lentils, peas and vegetables.
Protein is an essential nutrient, responsible for multiple functions in your body, including building tissue, cells and muscle, as well as making hormones and anti-bodies. Good sources of protein include eggs, milk, yoghurt, fish and seafood, some types of nuts, pork, poultry such as chicken and turkey and beans & pulses. If eating meat then you should aim to eat lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry to lower the fat content. Chicken, beef and pork are also good sources of protein. Eating a lot of read meat and/or processed meat has been shown to increase the risk of bowel cancer so avoid eating this regularly. Fish is also a great source of protein, especially oily fish and we should aim to eat 2 portions of fish a week, with one of these being oily fish. Oily fish is high in Omega 3 which is very important for the heart and brain.
Milk and cheese are high in calcium and protein content but there are many varieties that are high in fat content. Try and eat low fat yoghurts or cheese where possible and use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk as an alternative to full fat milk for a much healthier option.
Fat and sugar are important for the body to function properly, but we must eat the right type of fats and sugars to stay healthy. There are two main types of fats, saturated and unsaturated, saturated is the unhealthier fat which if eaten too often will begin to clog up the arteries which can have serious health consequences. Natural sugar found in foods is much healthier than artificial sugar found in sweets, fizzy drinks etc.