What does the dietary guidelines do?
Dietary guidelines are designed to:
- Tell people how to choose a variety of foods to get a healthy, balanced diet
- Encourage people to stay active to be fit and well
- Help people understand the importance of being a healthy weight
- Advise people to drink plenty of water so they don’t get thirsty
- Recommend that people eat regular meals to keep them healthy
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What are the dietary guidelines?
There are 8 guidelines:
- Base your meals on starchy foods.
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
- Eat more fish – including a portion of oily fish each week.
- Cut down on saturated fat and sugar.
- Eat less salt – no more than 6g (1 level teaspoon) a day for adults.
- Get active and be a healthy weight.
- Don’t get thirsty – drink plenty of water.
- Don’t skip breakfast.
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What does diet mean?
- Diet means the food that you eat every day.
- There are also special diets (e.g. a low-fat diet, a calorie-controlled diet).
- Healthy, balanced diet contains the correct amounts of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water that people need for good health, to grow properly, be active and maintain a healthy body.
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What does the Eatwell guide mean?
- It is based on the five food groups.
- The segments match the Government’s recommendations for a diet that would provide all the nutrients needed by a healthy adult or child (over the age of 5 years).
- From 2–5 years, children should gradually start eating a greater variety of foods as shown in the Eatwell Guide.
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Considerations for planning meals
- Type of meal
- Food allergies/intolerances
- Religious/cultural dietary restrictions
- Health condition – may restrict what can be eaten
- Nutritional profile of the meal
- Time available to buy, prepare and cook food
- Cost of food
- What is available to buy
- Seasonal/local foods
- Portion sizes
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