Public Health England recently released an infographic which details what we should be eating every day to maintain our health as best we can.
It breaks down our ideal daily intake into percentages to help us portion our food properly. Unsurprisingly, fruit and veg should take up the majority of our diet and sugar/salt is way down at the bottom.
This is the breakdown according to the guidelines:
- 39% fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day)
- 37% carbohydrates (wholegrain and high fibre versions with less added fat, sugar and salt)
- 12% proteins (beans, pulses, two portions of sustainable fish a week including one oily. Less red and processed meat)
- 8% dairy (low fat and sugar-free options)
- 3% sugar and salt (not every day and in very small amounts)
- 1% oil and spreads (unsaturated oils)
6-8 cups a day (water, low fat milk, tea and coffee)
Currently people consume, on average, 19 grams of fibre a day. The new guidelines suggest upping this to 30 grams a day – the equivalent to a large baked potato with the skin on, two large slices of wholemeal bread or five portions of fruit and vegetables.
What to avoid:
- Smoothies and fruit juice – the guidelines state that these do not count as daily liquids and should be limited to 150ml a day.
- Confectionary – these should not be eaten every day and only in small amounts.
In comparison to the old guidelines, sugar has seen the biggest drop from 8% to 3%. Dairy has also dropped from 15% to 8%. Carbohydrates have been increased from 33% to 37% which attracted criticism from some skeptics saying it could help fuel the obesity crisis.
The old guidelines: