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he UK's national food

guide has been updated

in light of recent

recommendations made

by the Scientific Advisory

Committee on Nutrition (SACN) in their

report on Carbohydrates and Health

originally published in July 2015.

The Eatwell Guide (right) has replaced

the eatwell plate and continues to define

the government's advice on a healthy

balanced diet. The Eatwell Guide is a

visual representation of how different

foods and drinks can contribute towards

a healthy balanced diet.

The Eatwell Guide is based on the

five food groups and shows how much of

what you eat should come from each food

group. Public Health England encourages

organisations and individuals to use the

Eatwell Guide to make sure everyone

receives consistent messages about the

balance of foods in a healthy diet.

A mixed plate

As with any guide, this one has its

detractors and its fans. Douglas

Twenefour, Deputy Head of Care at

Diabetes UK, said: "We are pleased to

see the removal of foods that are high in

added sugar, salt and saturated fat such

as cakes, crisps and chocolate, from the

Eatwell Guide. This decision complements

earlier guidelines, such as those from the

Science Advisory Committee on Nutrition

(SACN). Diabetes UK is not saying

that people should completely cut out

occasional treats from their diet. However

by removing these foods from the plate

Public Health England is now sending

an even clearer message to people as to

how they can reduce their risk of obesity

and improve their health. With obesity

being a key risk factor for serious health

conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, some

cancers and stroke, cutting down your

intake of added sugar, salt and saturated

fat is a vital step towards living a long

healthy life."

Meanwhile, the Meat Advisory Panel

has also commented on the new guide

noting that the protein category, where

the example of 'lean mince' has been

placed, is of a similar size to the previous

model showing the continued importance

of protein-rich foods in the diet. However,

a new statement has been added about

reducing red and processed meat.

Nutritionist, Dr Emma Derbyshire,

a member of the Meat Advisory Panel,

comments, "The Government's own

National Diet and Nutrition Survey clearly

states that adults are eating 71g cooked

red and processed meat daily on average

which is almost spot on the 2010 target

of up to 70g per day. "Blanket messages

to reduce red meat consumption could be

very detrimental to the diets of consumers

who already eat low to moderate amounts

of red meat, for example women and

young people. Lean red meat is rich in

protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins and selenium

and makes an important contribution to

daily vitamin and mineral intakes. Up to

four in ten women and young girls lack

sufficient iron in the diet while one in ten

are iron deficient. My worry is that female

consumers will reduce their intakes of red

meat even further, risking low iron levels.

Another point is that meat and meat

products provide 25-35% of vitamin D

intakes - a nutrient of concern in the UK

due to low blood levels. In conclusion,

it's great that the new Eatwell Guide has

reaffirmed the role of lean red meat in a

healthy balanced diet but government

figures clearly show that the 'eat less'

message is not applicable to most red

meat consumers."

The government's new guide sparks interest



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