Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Dietary advice and guidelines are regularly updated, as new information comes to light through continuous research. Because of this, there has been a recent update to the UK ‘Eat well guide’ - published by Public Health England (PHE).
The guide suggests that people should eat more fruit and vegetables, jacket potatoes with the skin on and two slices of wholemeal toast a day. These official guidelines are based on the nutrient requirements of an ‘average’ male or female adult. However, it is worth noting that while this information is based on studies and research, not everyone fits the mould of the ‘norm’ and therefore personal health issues should be taken into account in line with these.
Firstly, the amount of calorie consumption for men and women has stayed the same at 2000 kcal for women, and 2500 kcal for men. This is to include food and drinks consumed across the day.
The daily intake of food should be made up of:
The changes are focussed on reducing sugar levels, as well as increasing whole grains into the diet, as it is thought that these can lower heart disease, reduce obesity and even minimise the risk of some cancers.
With this in mind, it is easy to see why people will be drawn to making small changes in their diets. One area that has been added is the reduction of the inclusion of ‘smoothie’ type drinks as part of the fruit intake. This is because of the high sugar content of smoothies, so 150ml counts towards only one of the five a day fruit intake.
The current advice is based on the fact that adults, on average, have twice as much sugar as it is recommended and some children even three times as much. The aim is to reduce this and all confectionery, such as biscuits and crisps, which have been placed on the periphery of the plate.
There is some disagreement about the latest increase in carbohydrates, with some medical professionals indicating that this advice could have detrimental health effects. In particular, that the increase of carbohydrates may lead to increased occurrence of type 2 diabetes as this is considered a carbohydrate intolerance.
The new Eat Well guidelines do suggest that this increased carbohydrate consumption should be of the ‘whole grain’ variety, which is seen to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, someone who is misinformed could be walking into more health issues by eating the wrong type of grain. It is also suggested that full-fat dairy is a better choice than the low-fat alternatives, as these are proven to protect the heart.
Fibre is seen to be a fundamental change in this plate. Currently, it is estimated that people consume on average 19 grammes of fibre a day; this is considered to be too little, with the new guidelines suggesting as much as 30 grammes a day.
This can be achieved by having more whole grains and eating items such as jacket potatoes with the skin, rather than leaving this nutritious part of the meal on your plate.
Whatever the opinion, the Eat Well guidelines are a suggestion of how to live a healthy lifestyle and each person should factor in their individual health issues before changing their diets. A person who is obese may need a reduced calorie intake until an ideal body mass index is achieved, whereas a person who has diabetes will have to adjust their food intake to their personal needs.
These types of guidelines should be used as a basis for healthy eating, however as every person is unique, any significant changes should always be discussed with your doctor who can give advice based on your personal circumstances. Click here to find out more information about weight loss pills.