The Eatwell Guide

The Eatwell Guide

WHAT IS THE EATWELL GUIDE

The Eatwell Guide is the method for illustrating dietary advice by the Department of Health, issued officially by the government of the United Kingdom.

The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet. You do not need to achieve this balance with every meal, but try to get the balance right over a day or even a week.

– Reference: The NHS website (please click to find out more).

EATWELL GUIDE GROUPS

The Eatwell Guide divides the foods and drinks we consume into 5 main groups:

  • fruit and vegetables
  • potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
  • beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins
  • dairy and alternatives
  • oils and spreads

Each food group is colour coded to help people plan healthy meals and make eating plans.

FRUIT & VEGETABLES

Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.

Contain primarily carbohydrates, with vitamins and minerals, dietary fibre, and other important plant compounds such as phytochemicals, flavonoids, antioxidants and polyphenols.

POTATOES, BREAD, RICE, PASTA AND OTHER STARCHY CARBOHYDRATES

Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, or other starchy carbohydrates; choosing wholegrain versions where possible.

Contain primarily starchy carbohydrates. Whole, unrefined versions contain vitamins and minerals, and more dietary fibre than refined options. 

BEANS, PULSES, FISH, EGGS, MEAT AND OTHER PROTEINS

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

Fish, eggs, poultry, meat, and nuts contain primarily protein and fats. Pulses (aka. Legumes) such as beans, lentils, peas, soy beans and chickpeas contain varying amounts of carbohydrate and protein, but tend to be lower in fats and high in dietary fibre. They all contain varying amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients.

DAIRY AND ALTERNATIVES

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

Contain proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Real dairy is a natural source of calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Check the label on dairy alternatives for nutritional values – choose unsweetened, calcium fortified versions. 

OILS AND SPREADS

Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts.

Oils and spreads tend to be high in calories. Carefully chosen fats can still provide important nutrition to the body. Choosing minimally processed, unsaturated oils like rapeseed, olive, and sunflower can be beneficial in smaller amounts. 

WATER, LOW FAT MILK, SUGAR FREE DRINKS, TEA AND COFFEE

Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day.

Water is the preferred beverage for regular, daily hydration. Tea and coffee should be consumed with minimal sugar where possible. Sugary drinks should be avoided or replaced with sugar-free alternatives.

The Eatwell Guide is also supported by eight specific healthy eating tips: 

✅ Base your meals on starchy foods. 
✅ Eat lots of fruit and vegetables (5 portions per day). 
✅ Eat more fish (2 portions a week, 1 oily). 
✅ Cut down on saturated fat and sugar. 
✅ Try to eat less salt, no more than 6g a day. 
✅ Get active and try to be a healthy weight. 
✅ Don’t get thirsty, drink 6-8 cups of water a day. 
✅ Don’t skip breakfast. 

PORTION SIZES

Accurate calorie counting is far from easy; it may be more effective to follow the suggested portion sizes. The table below provides some guidelines on typical portion size. Be sure to read labels carefully; manufacturers’ interpretations of portion sizes can often be influenced by commercial considerations.

FOOD GROUP

ONE PORTION SIZE

Fruit

80g portion

Small fruit – 2 satsumas, 2 plums, 2 kiwis, 7 strawberries, 14 cherries.

Medium fruit – 1 apple, 1 banana, 1 pear, 1 orange.

Large fruit – half grapefruit, one 5cm slice of melon, 1 large slice of pineapple, 30g dried fruit, or 1 heaped tablespoon.

Vegetables

80g portion

Green veg – 2 broccoli spears, 4 heaped tablespoons of kale, spinach or green beans.

Salad veg – 3 sticks of celery, 5cm piece of cucumber, 1 medium tomato, 7 cherry tomatoes.

Cooked veg – 3 heaped tablespoons of carrots, peas, sweetcorn or cauliflower.

Bread, rice, pasta and potatoes

1 slice of bread.

Handful of rice or pasta.

Handful of breakfast cereal.

1 small to medium potato.

Meat, fish, eggs and beans

Lean meat the size of a deck of cards. 70g portion.

1 large egg.

Side of fish the size of a standard chequebook. 140g portion.

Handful of beans, nuts or seeds.

Milk and dairy

Small cup of milk.

150ml of yoghurt.

Piece of cheese the size of a small matchbox.

Food / drinks high in fat, sugar or salt

These foods are not required.

Eat less often and in small amounts.

A balanced diet is key, in order to feel happy and healthy. Eating well is important when fuelling your workouts.

The Power Circle Community is here for you to discuss your best practices on achieving a balanced diet. You will find regular tips/recipes/preparation advice to help you along the way. 

Power & Pole will not give you specific, prescriptive individual advice on your diet. If you require specific tailored plans, please seek the advice and support of a qualified nutritionist. We will provide general advice on healthy eating, based on national guidelines. 

 

Related Articles

Responses