The Eatwell Guide does not include references to frequency of serving and recommended portion sizes, with the exception of:
• fruit and vegetables: at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day
• fish: eat 2 portions a week, 1 of which should be oily
• red and processed meat: limit to less than 70g per day if you usually consume more than 90g every day
This is consistent with government advice and is in accordance with the available evidence.
The Eatwell Guide is intended as a tool suitable for use with most adults, and therefore it would be misleading to include specific frequency or proportion advice when people have individual requirements. However, registered dietitians, who work with individuals, should still tailor their advice in consultations based upon the individual’s current diet and food preferences.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are not a replacement for good eating habits. Most people can get all the nutrients their body needs by choosing a variety of foods across the five main food groups, in the proportions shown in the Eatwell Guide. Some people need certain supplements, for which there are government recommendations. With the exception of these, vitamin and mineral supplements should not be referred to in conjunction with the Eatwell Guide.
Much of the food people eat is in the form of dishes or meals with more than one kind of food component in them. For example, pizzas, casseroles, pies, lasagne, spaghetti bolognese and sandwiches are all made with ingredients from more than one food group. These are often called ‘combination’ or ‘composite’ foods. To make healthy choices, people will need to identify the main food items or ingredients in combination foods and think about how these fit with the proportions shown in the Eatwell Guide.