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New Eatwell Guide from Public Health England

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A new Eatwell Guide has been published today by Public Health England (PHE). The guide replaces the ‘Eatwell Plate’.

The new guide, which Diabetes UK supports, says a healthy diet should include more fruit, vegetables and starchy carbohydrates and have fewer sugary foods and drinks. Foods high in fat, salt and sugar have been placed outside of the main image and are described as ‘foods to eat less often and in small amounts’. This reflects advice that they are not an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet.

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The new Eatwell Guide from Public Health England

The new recommendation for fruit juice and smoothies is to limit these to 150mls per day and that they can only count as one of your five a day, regardless of how much is consumed. In the new guide PHE have pulled together information on existing guidelines which recommend adults to consume:

•    30 grams offibrea day. Currently people only consume around 19 grams of fibre per day, less than two thirds the recommendation•    Less than 6 grams ofsalt •    Less than 20 grams ofsaturated fatfor women or 30 grams for men a day•    Less than 30 grams or seven cubes ofsugara day (from over the age of 11). There is further guidance for children under 11 years who should have  less.

The new guide also includes a front of pack nutrition labelto help people understand how to put the Eatwell guide into action when they shop for food.

There is also a new drinks section which makes it clear that adults should be aiming to have six to eight glasses of fluids per day ideally from water, lower fat milks and unsweetened tea or coffee.

We should eat and drink fewer calories to lose weight

Eating healthily is about eating the right amount of food for your energy needs. In England, most adults are either overweight or obese. This means many of us are eating more than we need, and should eat and drink fewer calories to lose weight.

Based on the Eatwell Guide, the advice is to try to eat:•    More of fruit and vegetables. We should all be aiming to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day•    Choose wholegrain varieties of starchy food•    Go for lower-fat milk and dairy foods. These are healthier options to help you get enough protein and calcium•    Some fish, eggs, beans, meat and other non-dairy sources of protein. These are important sources of protein, vitamins and minerals, and there is clear message to eat less red and processed meat. Oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon and sardines, also provide omega-3, which can help protect the heart. Beans, pulses, soya and tofu are also good sources of protein.•    Just a small amount of food and drink that is high in fat or sugar. You can cut down on saturated fat and sugar by eating fewer sweets, cakes and biscuits, and drinking fewer sugary soft drinks.

The Eatwell Guide applies to most of us – whether we're a healthy weight or overweight, whether we eat meat or are vegetarian, and no matter what our ethnic origin.

However, PHE has indicated that the Eatwell Guide doesn't apply to children under the age of two, because they have different nutritional needs. From the ages of two to five, children should gradually move to eating the same foods as the rest of the family, in the proportions shown on the Eatwell Guide.

It is really important that anyone with special dietary requirements or medical needs check with a registered dietitian whether the Eatwell Guide applies to them.

Douglas Twenefour, Deputy Head of Care at Diabetes UK, said: “We are pleased to see the removal of foods that are high in added sugar, salt and saturated fat such as cakes, crisps and chocolate, from the main image of the Eatwell Guide. This decision complements earlier guidelines, such as those from the Science Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).

'Whatever diet people choose to follow should be based on current evidence'

"Diabetes UK is aware that some people with diabetes may want to follow specific diets that may not be completely in line with the new guide. However, it is important that whatever diet that people choose to follow is based on current evidence and tailored to the person’s needs and food choices. Such diets should still include foods such as fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, dairy, fish, pulses and nuts as these foods have been shown to promote good health. These diets should also limit the intake of red and processed meat, sugary soft drinks, sugar-sweetened foods, and other refined carbs."

“Diabetes UK also feels it is unrealistic for people to completely cut out occasional treats from their diet. However by removing these foods from the main image of the Eatwell Guide, Public Health England is now sending an even clearer message to people as to how they can reduce their risk of obesity and improve their health. With obesity being a key risk factor for serious health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, some cancers and heart disease, cutting down your intake of added sugar, salt and saturated fat is a vital step towards living a long healthy life.”

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