UK: dietary guidelines

UK: dietary guidelines

Actually, this comes from Public Health England but if you look at the documents it does state that it is in association with the Welsh government, Food Standards Scotland and Foods Standards Agency Northern Ireland. The focus here is on food and drink only unlike the USA and France where exercise is included in the guidelines.

Eatwell Guide Visual

Eatwell Guide Booklet

You can find additional information on the link below.

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19 Replies

  • I see baked beans, Weetabix, rice, cous cous, bread, bagels and potatoes that all spike insulin-like growth factor. What's healthy about that? Skimming milk raises the insulin response.

    Processed soya 'milk'.

    Lean protein is the fastest way to deplete the liver of vitamin A.

    Most human body-fat is almost 40:60 saturated to mono-unsaturated with only small amounts of PUFAs; surely that's the platinum standard we should aspire to? I wouldn't touch processed oils that we didn't have the technology to extract until about 100 years ago.

    People follow these guidelines, fall ill, and are consoled 'it's hereditary'.

  • I've only posted Governmental guidelines from around the world which purports to be based on sound research evidence. I considered posting the the guidelines from Public Health Collaboration but given the director was an ex party planner for a leisure centre I thought better of it! That of course was the organisation that issued jointly with the National Obesity Forum the report that grabbed the headlines in May 2016 recommending people eat more fat.

  • I'm sure that some would like to character assassinate PHC, but it comprises plenty of reputable health professionals too.

    It's difficult to fathom how processed food could be peddled as healthier than real food that came from something living recently.

    A lot of 'Governmental guidelines from around the world' are derived from each other, sharing the common funding sources and political concerns. The above guidelines contain the term 'sustainable food' for example that the USDA had introduced to their guidelines only the year before.

    Before it was downsized, the Food Standards Agency in England reported that the UK (with all its chronic health problems; my comment) was eating closer to the then Eatwell Plate healthy eating guidelines, than ever before.

  • I would expect the guidelines to be very similar as medical research transcends national boundaries. In the USA almost 70% of the population are overweight or obese. In relation to the guidelines almost 90% are not eating enough vegetables and about 75% are not eating enough fruit. A staggering 90% are not getting enough dairy and around 75% are not consuming enough of the recommended 'oils'. However, almost 70% are consuming more than the recommend amounts of saturated fats and a similar number are exceeding the recommended amount of sugar. From this I would take it that not following the guidelines encourages you to gain weight not that the guidelines are necessarily flawed.

  • Have the human race ever eaten as much processed vegetable oil as they do now? I would take it that the food oil industry would encourage us to consume more of the recommended 'oils'.

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer research hospital found that protein carried about half the risk of carbohydrate for cancer, with fat relatively inert. Given that medical research transcends national boundaries, none of the guidelines seem to reflect this startling fact.

  • This is from Memorial Sloan Kettering - responding to a question about changing your diet...the added emphasis is mine. You can view the response here:

    Memorial Sloan Kettering

    Jan 13, 2016 • 2:13 pm

    In reply to Can one extrapolate then if… by Edward Wagner

    Dear Edward, thanks for your comment. The short answer is "no," ­ switching to a low-glycemic index or low-fat diet or fasting is not something that can be recommended based on this information. Here's a more detailed response from Dr. Pavlova:

    "Our bodies vigilantly monitor and correct the level of glucose in the blood, maintaining it within a very narrow range, more or less regardless of diet (except for pre-diabetics/diabetic patients)." [This means that altering your diet to reduce sugar, for example, will not significantly change the level of glucose in your blood.] "Excess sugar in diet may increase the risk of cancer in the long run by contributing to the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome, but the exact causative links are still being investigated and may include chronic systemic inflammation associated with obesity, changes in intestinal microbial composition, increased levels of insulin and other growth factors ­in addition to inefficient glucose control. But high sugar consumption per se would not cause our cells to divide improperly and grow into a tumor."

    That said, eating a well-balanced diet that is low in added sugar and fat is recommended for health regardless of cancer status. You can read more about nutrition guidelines here:

  • That's in stark contrast to what Craig Thompson said as the head of MSK in 2010. He demonstrated his impartiality by saying we should choose between a low fat diet to lower heart risk or a controlled carbohydrate diet to reduce the risk of cancer.

    Since then of course the evidence has been emerging that a controlled carbohydrate diet is best for preventing heart disease too.

  • Yes, but he was not the lead on the paper - Dr Pavlova (not making that name up!) was.- That is her response above. The paper was postulating a theory - it did not contain any empirical evidence. I don't think you can get much clearer than Dr Pavlova's answer above.

  • Yes. She's saying it's too early to leave the status quo, and in the mean time how many more will suffer unnecessarily? For years there has been an argument that there is no evidence to support a change in the healthy eating guidelines. How much longer can the inertia be continued? Dr David Unwin bucked the trend by treating his diabetes patients with a controlled carb diet to prove that it does work, and gained an award for it. Before it was dismissed as anecdotal, now there is evidence; oh dear. The Nuremberg defence is no longer considered credible is it?

  • Have you been following the progress of the Newcastle/Glasgow Uni study?

  • I haven't sorry, I thought it was already being rolled out because it had been successful?

    I find it lamentable that they would rather put people on a starvation diet rather than a long term strategy of controlling carbohydrate, like Dr. David Unwin's, but at least it's better than keeping them on a high-carb diet and having to increase medication as a consequence.

  • The National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) is being delivered now. I know of a firm that won the contract for local regions who have undergone education training from a West Yorkshire organisation which focusses on people making informed choices, including the potential benefits of controlling carbohydrate and a higher, natural fat way of eating.

  • On the subject of Diabetes UK, were you aware they held a debate in 2014 'IS IT TIME TO STOP PROMOTING CARBOHYDRATES TO PEOPLE WITH DIABETES?'?

    The motion 'For' won, but there hasn't been any policy change, possibly because Diabetes UK are part funded by Public Health England?

  • This summary of a report from the US in 2014 compared various diets to see if they could decide on the healthiest way of eating. It came down to eating minimally processed foods, good quality meat and dairy and a lot of vegetables. Our guidelines don't seem to mention the importance of the quality of our food.

  • I fear too much profit in 'junk' food for food quality to get much of a mention.

  • Thanks to Augusina for sharing worldwide governmental guidelines for healthy eating. It's a starting point to say at least! It's also healthy to have this kind of discussion on government guidelines. My experience is that get information from relatively reliable sources and compare them, and reach your conclusion. If possible, read scientific journals articles. but most of us don't have the time. I like reading articles from scientific websites (those aiming general public), and check their references. So it's too much a burden. But it's hard to digest all these information and come up with something that works for oneself. At the moment, my conclusion is the Mediterranean diet seems to be the most healthy diet in the long run, in terms of both weight loss and stabilizing blood sugar level. After that would be low carb diet. In any case, I fully agree that whenever possible, one should eat real healthy food, rather than processed so called healthy food, so I also question weetabix, bagel's position on the eatwell plate. In any case, read the labels, it tells you what's really in their (if the manufacturers are honest enough, not swapping horse meat for beef)!

  • A really interesting discussion, and as happyhealthyjane says, aside from the challenge of interpreting the most recent scientific papers to gain nutritional guidance, the real difficulty is in discovering what works for yourself. Looking at the plate, which I think is a really useful visual for those who aren't really interested in the science and just want simple guidelines for a healthy way of eating, I too am surprised at the presence of bagels. As far as the Weetabix are concerned, I guess that's better than Sugar Puffs or any of those other sugar infested cereals that are still clearly popular enough to take up space on the supermarket shelves. Personally, I incline to the the GI approach as it seems to suit me, with its health-promoting emphasis on slow-digesting carbs and high fibre, so that I don't get those low-glucose/sugar craving swings that drive one to the biscuit tin or worse!

  • Apparently, when they polled the public there was a preference for drawn images of food rather than photos of food. I see we ended up with neither just some very bad 'clipart' perhaps the stock images happened to have bagels!

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