Herbs and Helpers ®

Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs

   Mar 18

What we SHOULD be eating every day (according to the Government): Two slices of toast, a jacket potato and plenty of fruit and veg – but you can’t rely on smoothies

Today’s new dietary advice comes from Public Health England (PHE), the Government’s public health quango

It is intended to help the public meet official nutrient requirements, showing how much of different foods to eat

Britons have been encouraged to eat more fruit, veg and starchy carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread

Smoothies will only count as 1 of 5-a-day fruit and veg – and should be drunk with meals as so sugary

PHE has issued five ‘sample’ menus to show how the guidance can be implemented in day-to-day life (see below)
But some meal plans suggested contain up to 2,250 calories a day – above the energy requirements for a woman

Guidance likely to be criticised as nanny state intervention which will have little impact on obesity or public health

Britons should eat more fruit and veg, jacket potatoes with the skin on and two slices of wholemeal toast a day, new Government guidance has declared.

They should also eat fewer sugary foods and drinks – and not rely on ‘easy’ options such as smoothies to get the nutrients they need, experts say.

The new dietary advice, published today by Public Health England (PHE), the Government’s public health quango, is intended to help the public meet official nutrient requirements.

However it is likely to be condemned as a further nanny state intervention which will have little impact on obesity or overall public health.

And with some of the meal plans suggested containing as many as 2,250 calories a day – above the energy requirements for the average woman – there are fears the new guidance could actually fuel the obesity crisis.

MailOnline has learned that while there were dietitians and health charities on the panel that set the new guidelines, other members included representatives from the British Retail Consortium, the Association of Convenience Stores and the Food and Drink Federation – the body which represents the UK food and drink manufacturing industry.

Commenting on the new advice, a leading doctor told MailOnline it may ‘worsen’ the obesity crisis and could have catastrophic effects on rates of type 2 diabetes.

The new dietary advice, published by Public Health England, the Government’s health quango, is intended to help the public meet official nutrient requirements. It shows the proportions of fruit and veg, meat and fish, diary and starch we should be aiming to eat each day

Of particular concern was the recommended increase of starchy carbohydrates.

Dr Aseem Malhotra, cardiology adviser for the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘Considering type 2 diabetes is a condition of carbohydrate intolerance, promoting carbohydrate will only fuel the epidemic of type 2 diabetes and obesity.’

Instead, we should be eating more full fat dairy products, such as yoghurt and cheese, which have been proven to protect the heart, rather than low fat options, which have no health benefits, he said.

He added he is ‘alarmed’ that confectionary is pictured on the plate and angry at the inclusion of sugary fruit juice.

Today’s guidance is a new version of the EatWell Plate, launched in 2010, which is meant to help adults follow a balanced diet.

It shows the proportions of fruit and veg, meat and fish, diary and starch we should be aiming to eat each day.

The guidance has now been updated to reflect new scientific evidence and updated dietary recommendations, including those on sugar, fibre and starchy carbohydrates.

There is now greater prominence for fruit, vegetables and starchy carbohydrates, preferably wholegrain – and a curbing of sugar.


When using the guidance in everyday life, Public Health England says: ‘Much of the food people eat is in the form of dishes or meals with more than one kind of food in them.

‘For example, pizzas, casseroles, pies, lasagne, spaghetti bolognese and sandwiches are all made with foods from more than one of the 5 food groups.

These are often called ‘combination’ or ‘composite’ foods.

‘To make healthy choices, people will need to identify the main food items or ingredients in combination foods and think about how these fit with the proportions shown in the eatwell plate.’

Specifically, the new guidelines recommend consuming:

• Eating at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count

• Basing meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain

• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on.

Currently people only consume around 19 grams of fibre per day, less than two thirds of the recommendation.

• Having some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options.

• Eating some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily).

• Choosing unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts.

• Drinking 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day.

• Sugary soft drinks have been removed from the old ‘plate’ – and foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar have been moved to the periphery of the guide, reflecting advice that they are not an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet.

• Adults should have less than 6 grams of salt and 20 grams of saturated fat for women or 30 grams for men a day.

PHE has not changed the recommendation on red meat. It advises eating no more than 70g a day – the equivalent of two rashers of bacon or two sausages.

But it does advise limiting the consumption of sugar, for example from sugary drinks and confectionary.

This is because adults have twice as much sugar as is recommended and children have over 3 times. Everyone over the age of 11 should consume less than 30 grams or 7 cubes of sugar a day.

And smoothies and fruit juice should not be relied on to meet the recommended five portions a day of fruit and vegetables, the guide warns.

Instead, the drinks should be limited to a single 150ml glass a day and count as only one portion, revised health guidelines will say.

They should also only be drunk with a meal as they are so high in sugar.

Many of the most popular smoothies and supermarket-own brands are sold in 250ml bottles and claim to contain two of a person’s ‘five-a-day’.

The new guidelines will mean manufacturers are forced to redraw their labels accordingly to ensure they aren’t misleading.

The new advice will also tell adults to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day – which can include sugar free drinks or tea.


The EatWell plate was originally designed by Public Health England to help us get the right balance of foods in our diet.

It is split into five segments to represent different food groups – and the proportions should remain as specified on the plate graphic.

The size of the segments for each of the food groups is consistent with government recommendations for a diet that would provide all the nutrients required for a healthy adult or child (over the age of 5).

The old guidance is: (This adds up to 101% due to rounding up.)

The EatWell plate was designed by Public Health England to help us get the right balance of foods in our diet. It is split into five segments to represent different food groups – and the proportions should remain as specified on the plate graphic


Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: 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 5 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.’

Earlier this month, PHE – an agency of the Department of Health – launched a £3.5 million advertising campaign to encourage middle aged adults to do more exercise and stop eating takeaways.

The NHS first launched its five-a-day campaign in 2003 yet more than a decade on, only a third of adults manage to meet this target.

People took to social media site Twitter to voice their opinions on the EatWell plate today (pictured are a selection of tweets). Nutritionist Hannah Trotman (bottom) praised the changes, while dietetics student Lloyd Roberts (top) branded it ‘condescending and childlike’

And controversially products such as Heinz Spaghetti Hoops, Robinsons Fruit Shoots and some cereal bars are allowed to claim they count as one portion by having certain levels of fruit or veg.

But experts point out that one of the key thrusts of the campaign was to encourage the public to fill up on fruit and vegetables rather than calorie dense snacks.

Fruit and vegetables are also rich in antioxidants – which prevent cancer and heart disease – and fibre, to aid digestion.

But many of these nutrients are lost when they are processed to make smoothies or juices.

Smoothies and fruit juice should not be relied on to meet the recommended five portions a day of fruit and vegetables – and should only be drunk with a meal as they are so high in sugar

Sugar levels are also far higher and a typical 250 ml smoothie bottle contains six teaspoons – the recommended daily intake.

Jenny Rosborough, campaign manager of Action on Sugar and registered nutritionist said: ‘Smoothies can be an option for adults or children who are struggling to get their five a day.

‘But they shouldn’t count as more than one as they are not as good a choice as having a whole portion of fruit or veg.

‘Some of the fibre and other nutrients are lost during the processing but the overall sugar content is increased.

‘You end up consuming a lot more sugar, a lot less fibre and feel less full than if you had eaten a portion of fruit.’

Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘I’m delighted, it’s got all the right messages.

‘The problem with smoothies is that they are so high in sugar.

‘Advice that they should be limited to one 150 ml glass a day is absolutely correct.’

Commenting on the new eat well plate, Mark Littlewood, director of the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank said: ‘Public Health England should spend its time making valuable information accessible so that people can make their own, informed lifestyle decisions.

‘Unfortunately, yet again, they are focusing on small, arbitrary changes in guidelines that seem to move in line with government rhetoric rather than on education.’

NHS figures show that the average adult eats four portions of fruit and veg a day – including juice and smoothies – while children manage just three.

And some experts have called for the guidelines to be extended to seven portions a day claiming it would save thousands of lives.

Researchers at University College London who studied 65,226 men and women found that the risk of death was reduced by 40 per cent if they ate seven or more fruit or veg.

They also found that fruit juice offered no benefit while canned fruit increased the likelihood of dying, possibly as it is so high in sugar.

Health charities today welcomed the new guidance. Douglas Twenefour, of 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 ‘EatWell plate’.

‘Diabetes UK is not saying people should completely cut out occasional treats from their diet.

‘However by removing these foods from the plate, 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 stroke, cutting down your intake of added sugar, salt and saturated fat is a vital step towards living a long healthy life.’

Sarah James, of the World Cancer Research Fund, said: ‘With around 62 per cent of the English population being overweight or obese, this new guide is very welcome.

‘It is good to see the importance of eating more wholegrains, beans and pulses being highlighted – and limiting foods high in fat, sugar and salt as well as sugary drinks.

‘After not smoking, being a healthy weight is the most important thing people can do to reduce their cancer risk. In fact, being overweight or obese increases the risk of 10 cancers including bowel, breast (postmenopausal) and pancreatic cancer.’


WHY THIS IS A DARK DAY FOR THE BRITISH DIET: Today, two leading experts blasted the new EatWell plate. Here, speaking to MailOnline, they voice their grave concerns about the advice…


This plate falls far short of what is going to be the best diet pattern based on scientific evidence.

I’m concerned about the promotion of starchy carbohydrates.

Considering type 2 diabetes is a condition of carbohydate intolerance, promoting carbs will only fuel the epidemic of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

We should be consuming more fat to reduce cardiovascular risk – a lot more olive oil.

We should be eating a lot more full fat dairy – especially cheese and yogurt- than is recommended as this protects against heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

They recommend low fat foods, but there is no evidence such products, which are processed, have any benefit in terms of obesity or heart disease.

I think Public Health England is completely behind on the latest research on fat.

And why have they got on confectionary and sweets on their graphic?

There is no nutritional value or biological need for sugar.

This represents, in my view, an appeasement for the food industry.

Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiology adviser at the National Obesity Forum said the new guidance may ‘worsen’ the obesity and type 2 diabetes crisis

Dr Zoe Harcombe, an obesity researcher, said it should be called the ‘EatBadly’ plate

Confectionary and junk food shouldn’t be near the plate, and they are doing a disservice to the public by including them.

I’m also alarmed they’ve included fruit juice – it’s high in sugar. At best, it should be consumed as an occasional treat, not something to drink every day.

With regard to the meal plans, we need to stop counting calories and stop eating processed food.

If we eat real, unprocessed food, the body’s mechanism corrects itself and functions well.

We only count calories as were in the midst of an obesity crisis.

I don’t think this diet, in its current state, will help the obesity crisis and it may well worsen it.

Certainly it’s only a marginal improvement on the last plate, which in my opinion is at the root cause of the obesity crisis with its promotion of carbohydrates.


Public Health England has yet again missed the opportunity to make a difference to public health.

All they needed to say was ‘eat real food’. How difficult that is proving to be?

I would call this the ‘EatBadly’ plate rather than the ‘EatWell’ plate.

The most nutritious foods on the planet – meat, fish, eggs and dairy – are poor relations to nutritionally inferior foods – starchy carborhydrates that are recommended.

The can of cola has gone at last, but they couldn’t resist pandering to the fake food industry.

By this, I mean the illustrations of ketchup, biscuits, sweets, chocolate, ice cream, crisps and cake which are arguably even more prominent in the bottom left hand corner.

Snack food Britain can breathe a sigh of relief – pubic health authorities still think it’s OK to consume such junk.
Eatwell guide 2015 FINAL FEB2016
The guide’s recommendations are not backed up by evidence.

There is no scientific evidence for eating five a day, basing meals on starchy foods, recommending low fat dairy,

There is also no evidence for eating unsaturated oils and spreads, or drinking up to eight glasses of water a day.


These meal plans were created by Public Health England and are based on population average.

Some can contain as much as 2,250 calories a day, above the energy requirements for the average woman, therefore they should only be used as a benchmark.

When planning meals, people should look at their individual energy requirements and their levels of physical activity, a Public Health England spokeswoman said.

For example, a short, inactive woman will require fewer calories than a tall, active man.


Source: Daily Mail

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.