Government’s new Eatwell Guide: Smoothies now count as one of five-a-day and other changes

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  • We should all be eating more fruit and veg according to a new guide published by Public Health England.

    The Government organisation released their new Eatwell Guide yesterday which details what a healthy and balanced diet should look like in 2016.

    They state that, ‘the Eatwell Guide applies to most people regardless of weight, dietary restrictions/preferences or ethnic origin.’

    The only exception is ‘children under 2 because they have different nutritional needs.’ They go on to explain, ‘Between the ages of 2 and 5, children should gradually move to eating the same foods as the rest of the family, in the proportions shown on the Eatwell Guide.’

    There’s no surprise that we should all be eating less-sugary foods too, as the move comes within just days of the new sugar taxes due to be introduced in two year’s time.

    Picture: Public Health England

    The colourful infographic shows all the foods we should be eating, and in what proportion. Recommendations include at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day and basing our meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates; choosing wholegrains where possible.

    And it’s not just food that we should be paying attention to, the new guidelines also show that we should be increasing our fluid intake to at least 6-8 glasses a day. This includes water, sugar-free drinks, tea and coffee.

    A detail that has surpised many is that fruit juices and smoothies can only count as one of your five-a-day, regardless of portion size. Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: ‘A smoothie, together with fruit juice, now only counts as one of your five-a-day and should be drunk with a meal as it’s high in sugar.’

    And it looks like lots of us need to be better at getting through our fruits and veggies. Dr Tedstone added: ‘Only one in five of us meet the 5 A Day recommendation for fruit and vegetables, which is deeply concerning.’

    Do you and your family meet the targets? Let us know in the comments below.

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