With the massive surge in popularity of ‘fad’ diets, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there was actually something wrong with following a simple healthy diet.
The fact however, remains that good nutrition can be as simple as choosing food in the correct proportions, and often it is merely a matter of getting back to basics, however boring this may appear.
Healthy eating is about achieving a balance with our food. In actual fact, all foods have a place within a healthy balanced diet, and we shouldn’t view foods as good or bad. It is, however, the quantities of particular foods, which will make the difference.
A model I frequently use is the Eatwell Plate. I really like this particular model, as I feel it demonstrates how important variety is in healthy eating!
What is the Eatwell Plate?
It is a food guide showing the proportion and types of foods that are required to make up a healthy balanced diet. It was produced by the Food Standards Agency to show us the recommended balance of foods that we ought to be eating. The model aims to help people understand and enjoy healthy eating.
The Eatwell Plate is based on the five commonly accepted food groups. These are:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta
- Meat, fish, eggs, beans, and other non-dairy sources of protein
- Milk and dairy foods
- Foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar
Foods from the two largest groups (fruit and vegetables, and bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta) should be eaten most often; foods in the next two largest groups (meat, fish and alternatives, and milk and dairy) should be eaten in moderation; and foods from the smallest group (those containing fat and/or sugar) should be eaten least often.
It is important to remember that you don’t need to achieve this balance at every meal; but it should be achieved daily or even on a weekly basis. Having healthy snacks between meals will also help you to achieve the balance.
You may also be interested in following these links:
- American Food Pyramid – very similar to the Balance of Good Health, however the pictorial format is different.
- Vegetarian Food Pyramid – similar to the other models, however designed for those following a vegetarian diet.
- Vegan Food Pyramid – specifically designed for those who follow a vegan diet.
- Larger version of the Eatwell Plate.