Nutritional Guidelines

Nutritional Guidelines




In the UK we have adapted the original food pyramid and underpinning guidance to follow what is called
‘The Eatwell Plate’ . This simple guidance model in its current form was introduced in 2007, though earlier
versions existed prior to this.

It provides an alternative illustration of the similar basic guidelines around food
and nutrition found within the US pyramid. Whilst the above illustration itself is very simplistic and provides
less descriptive guidance than the pyramid, the guideline documents behind the national model provide some
more directed advice.

‘The Eatwell Plate’ is also supported by 8 specific healthy eating tips as stated by the Foods Standards Agency:

1. Base your meals on starchy foods
2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables (5 portions per day)
3. Eat more fish ( 2 portions a week, 1 oily)
4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
5. Try to eat less salt, no more than 6g a day
6. Get active and try to be a healthy weight
7. Drink plenty of water (6-8 glasses per day)
8. Don’t skip breakfast

Although I do not fully agree with the first one, the others are very good tips and should be taken into account.

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The specifics of the national food model provide the following targets:

Adult males: 2550 calories per day
Adult females: 1950 calories per day

The total amount of calories should be divided across each of the macronutrients to achieve the following ratios:

• minimum of 50% calories from carbohydrates
• maximum of 35% calories from fats
• minimum of 55g of protein per day (9-12% calories)

The different macronutrients contain calories and useable energy. The values vary slightly, but are usually referred to with the following approximate figures:

• carbohydrates 4 calories per gram
• proteins 4 calories per gram
• fats 9 calories per gram
• alcohol (not a nutrient) 7 calories per gram

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In trying to eat according to the national guidelines some may find incessant calorie counting a challenge
and may prefer instead to guide themselves less intensely by following the suggested portion sizes.

The following table provides some guidelines as to what counts as a typical portion. Manufacturers can
vary what they call a ‘portion’ in their favour to ensure their label information fits better with current
nutrition trends. Be sure to read labels carefully.


Food group Portion guide
Fruit Small fruit – 2 satsumas, 2 plums, 2 kiwi, 7 strawberries, 14 cherries. Medium fruit – 1 apple, 1 banana, 1 pear, 1 orange. Large fruit – half grapefruit, one 5cm slice of melon, 1 large slice of pineapple. Dried fruit – about 30g, one large heaped tablespoon of raisins or sultanas, handful of banana chips. Fruit juice – 150ml glass of unsweetened juice
Vegetables Green veg –  2 broccoli spears, 4 heaped table spoons of kale, spinach, or green beans. Salad veg  – 3 sticks of celery, 5cm piece of cucumber, 1 medium tomato, 7 cherry tomatoes. Cooked veg  – 3 heaped tablespoons carrots, peas, corn or cauliflower
Bread, rice, pasta and potatoes 1 slice of bread. Handful of rice or pasta, Handful of breakfast cereal. One small to medium potato
Meat, fish, eggs and beans Lean meat the size of a deck of cards1 large egg. Side of fish the size of a standard checkbook. Handful of beans, nuts or seeds
Milk and dairy Small cup of milk150ml of yoghurt. Piece of cheese size of small matchbox
Food and drinks high in fat or sugar Limit these foods to no more than 8% of total intake
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Organic food

The Soil Association states that some of the key reasons for purchasing organic are:
• minimal use of additives
• no pesticides, fungicides or herbicides used in production
• no genetically modified foods used
• no routine antibiotic use on animals
• animal welfare is paramount

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Nutrition and health

There is no doubt that the food we eat and physical activity, or lack of it, plays a significant role in both
preventing and managing health problems.

The following list of commonly occurring, modern day health complications and diseases have all been
shown to have a root cause or risk factor associated with food and diet.

• obesity
• heart disease
• stroke
• some cancers
• metabolic syndrome
• diabetes
• hypertension
• high cholesterol
• asthma
• some types of arthritis
• menstrual irregularities
• infertility
• eczema

If you would like to read more about nutrition, recognised places to seek nutritional information include:

• Food Standards Agency
• Committee on Medical Aspects (COMA) of Food and Nutrition
• British Nutrition Foundation
• Institute of Optimal Nutrition
• scientific nutrition journals e.g. British Journal of Nutrition

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Alexandra Merisoiu
Alexandra is known as The Body Engineer and is the founder of The Merisoiu Technique Institute Of Health And Natural Human Movement™.

She works with entrepreneurs, men and women, and re-engineers how the body functions to run like clockwork. This is done through building lasting foundations and a fit, strong and powerful body through Natural Movement in the Natural Environment.

Her mission is to challenge the status quo to enable people to reach their goals. This is done through building strong, lasting foundations in the natural outdoor environment; reducing the risk of injuries and educating people on the power of the fundamentals of Natural Human Movement™.

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