Confused by conflicting reports about healthy eating? You are not the only one! A team at the Harvard School of Public Health say previously guidelines on the ideal meal have been based on agricultural needs as well as government health research.
By contrast, the HSPH Healthy Eating Plate - which can you view online here - is based purely on the latest nutrition research and scientific advice.
Containing healthy protein, wholegrains, vegetables and fruits, the plate provides a snapshot of the ideal meal. The team say earlier designs do not take into account complete health and wellbeing needs and instead are based on agricultural interests.
“We want people to use this as a model for their own healthy plate or that of their children every time they sit down to a meal, either at home or at a restaurant,” said Eric Rimm, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at HSPH and a member of the 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
So what should the perfect meal contain? The team have described each section of the plate in more detailed to explain.
In terms of vegetables, limited potatoes is recommended (boo!) due to their effect on blood sugar.
Choose a rainbow of fruits every day and opt for whole grains, such as oatmeal, wholemeal bread and brown rice over refined grains, such as white bread and white rice.
Healthy proteins consist of fish, poultry, beans, or nuts - limit red meat and avoid processed meats.
Use olive oil in cooking or on salads - limit butter and avoid trans fats.
Drink water, tea, or coffee with little or no sugar. Limit milk and dairy to one or two servings per day and juice to one small glass a day.