The Eatwell Guide UK can help you get a balance of healthier and more sustainable food. It shows you how much you should be eating overall from each food group.
If you only focus on weight loss, weight maintenance or weight gain, it doesn’t really matter where the calories come from. Then it’s all about the ‘calories in / calories out’ game. Therefore you can lose weight by eating only McDonald’s burgers, candy, cakes and crisps, provided that you are in calorie deficit. In the same way you can gain weight by eating only vegetables and lean meat, provided that you are in calorie surplus.
However, if you also care about other factors like your health, energy level, muscle mass etc., then it’s a completely different story.
The composition of macronutrients (fat, carbohydrates and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), will be quite different if you compare, say, 500 calories from a chocolate cake and 500 calories from a dinner with meat, potatoes and vegetables. This is where The Eatwell Guide UK comes in:
(Source for The Eatwell Guide UK: Public Health England in association with the Welsh Government, Food Standards Scotland and the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland).
|The Eatwell Guide||Approx. (%)|
Food Groups in The Eatwell Guide UK
There are five main food groups in The Eatwell Guide UK and on the side there is actually a sixth: the unhealhty stuff (cake, candy, crisps, chocolate, ice cream etc.). So it’s not like you can’t never ever eat unhealthy stuff, but it’s just to illustrate that it should be eaten less often and in small amounts.
If you’re not sure what each food group represents here is a little guide:
Grains / Starches
Potatoes, bread, oats, rice, pasta, bulgur, couscous etc.
Preferably wholegrain / high fibre versions.
Butter, coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower spread etc.
Preferably unsaturated options.
Milk, cheese, yoghurt etc. (including plant-based versions).
Preferably low fat and low sugar versions.
Eggs, poultry, meat, fish, beans, lentils, nuts etc.
Preferably less red and processed meat options.
Fruits / Veggies
Bananas, apples, blueberries, carrots, spinach, onions, mushrooms etc. (including dried, canned and frozen versions).
Image for The Eatwell Guide UK: Pixabay.