How to eat a balanced diet over a week

October 3, 2012

Nutritionists at the University of Glasgow have served up a menu showing what a balanced diet over a week looks like.

The eatwell week menu was commissioned by the Food Standards Agency in Scotland to provide a practical example of what a balanced – and affordable – diet over a week would look like and to help individuals make healthier .

Dr Wilma Leslie, researcher in at the University of Glasgow, who helped develop the menu, said: "There is lots of information available to the public about the importance of a balanced diet but people still have difficulty in putting this into practice.

"We tried to make this menu as realistic and achievable as possible, so the are typical, the nutrients are close to the limits of the daily recommended values so that changes for individuals from their actual diet wouldn't be too demanding, and there are some treats such as crisps and chocolate in there too.

"The other important thing we wanted to do was make sure the menu was affordable and required only basic cooking skills. We also aimed to limit by using tinned and frozen food where possible."

The researchers used market research data which showed what meals and snacks were most commonly eaten by people in the UK to help guide the choice of foods on the menu and address barriers to .

The menu, which includes meals such as beef curry, spaghetti Bolognese and beans on toast, was designed to meet the of a normal-weight adult woman with light physical activity patterns which are just over 2,000kcal a day.

The meals within the week are interchangeable to allow and flexibility but the menu was not designed to provide examples for young children, vegetarians or or ethnic eating patterns.

The menu meets the requirements for minerals such as vitamin C, calcium and iron; recommendations around consumption of and the five-a-day fruit and vegetable guidelines; as well as the guidance on eating two portions of fish a week.

The calorie provision from each day varies between 1,833kcal to 2181kcal, averaging out across the week at 2,050kcal a day. Average salt level was below the maximum recommended intake of no more than 6g/day.

Dr Fiona Comrie, diet & nutrition advisor, Food Standards Agency in Scotland said: "What the researchers have done is demonstrate that is it possible to develop a menu, incorporating foods that are popular and widely consumed by British adults, which meet dietary recommendations and targets. The menu is not dependent on any single food item, or any unusual or expensive pattern of eating, to meet nutritional requirements."

The FSA in Scotland, which currently provides guidance on a through its eatwell plate guide, plans to launch new eatwell resources, based on the eatwell week project carried out by the University of Glasgow.

Recipes for the eatwell week will be included in the resource to encourage cooking, from raw ingredients. To enable consumers to adjust the eatwell week to suit their own needs, information on how to increase or decrease the energy intake and substitute some foods is also provided. The resource will be available online from summer 2013.

A research paper, 'Designing the eatwell week: the application of eatwell plate advice to weekly food intake', is published in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

Explore further: Menu labeling requirements lead to healthier options at chain restaurants

More information: www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_242390_en.jpg

Related Stories

Menu labeling requirements lead to healthier options at chain restaurants

July 19, 2012
The recent Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has cleared the way for national requirements about posting nutritional information at chain restaurants. Listing calories, fat content, ...

Policies for a healthier European diet: Are they effective?

October 28, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- A Europe-wide project led by the University of Reading to assess the effect of policies encouraging healthier eating has found that much more work still needs to be done for these to be successful.

McDonald's to post calories for its menu

September 12, 2012
First they began offering salad, then they added fruit. On Wednesday, McDonald's announced it would put something else on its menu to help customers watching their waistlines: calorie counts.

Recommended for you

Amber-tinted glasses may provide relief for insomnia

December 15, 2017
How do you unwind before bedtime? If your answer involves Facebook and Netflix, you are actively reducing your chance of a good night's sleep. And you are not alone: 90 percent of Americans use light-emitting electronic devices, ...

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

December 15, 2017
Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

Office work can be a pain in the neck

December 15, 2017
Neck pain is a common condition among office workers, but regular workplace exercises can prevent and reduce it, a University of Queensland study has found.

Regular takeaways linked to kids' heart disease and diabetes risk factors

December 14, 2017
Kids who regularly eat take-away meals may be boosting their risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Simulation model finds Cure Violence program and targeted policing curb urban violence

December 14, 2017
When communities and police work together to deter urban violence, they can achieve better outcomes with fewer resources than when each works in isolation, a simulation model created by researchers at the UC Davis Violence ...

Your pets can't put your aging on 'paws'

December 14, 2017
(HealthDay)—In a finding that's sure to ruffle some fur and feathers, scientists report that having a pet doesn't fend off age-related declines in physical or mental health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.