The plate aims to represent the foods in the proportions we should be eating them in our diet. As before we are encouraged to eat our 5 a day (vegetables and fruit) for fibre and vitamins and minerals (and they are low in calories!). We should be using more wholegrain, higher fibre versions of the starchy foods – food for our cardiovascular and bowel health. PHE report that we are only consuming around 19g of fibre per day, which is 2/3rds less than the recommended 30g per day, so check out our fibre post on how to increase in your diet.
Dairy foods have thier own section as it is important to get a good source of calcium in our diet for strong bones. If choosing milk alternatives, ensure it has added calcium in so you are not missing out.
The protein section is worded carefully; starting with beans and pulses, then fish and eggs and lastly meat – probably to reflect that we shouldn’t eat to much red meat (after the IARC report on red meat) and encouraging us to eat more beans and pulses as they are lower in fat and higher in fibre.
The very smallest section is our fats for cooking and spreading – smallest section as they are very dense in calories, focusing on unsaturated fats – olive, sunflower, rapeseed, vegetable oils.
Its good to see we are encouraged to drink plenty to keep us hydrated, choosing low calorie / sugar drinks.
NHS choice gives a good overview of how the plate works and how to fit it into your diet.
The plate is a great improvement on the last one and will be a handy tool in the dietetic tool box for educating on healthy eating!