I’m sure you are familiar with graphics of “food plates” or the food pyramids, designed to help us figure out what we should eat each day. Some are more helpful than others!  One of the ones I like is the Food4Health guidelines from the Alliance for Natural Health. So take a look and see what you think. 

Their plate graphic, with notes, are shown above. 

September 2016 Food4Health Guidelines

The updated September 2016 guidelines shown are for adults and children over 6 (they have a separate plate illustration for children under 6). 

The idea of the graphic and pointers is to provide advice on how to select foods that give you the nutrients you need, not only for adequate energy but also for our metabolism and the chemical reactions going on in our bodies. 

Science behind the guidelines

The guidelines are based on relevant and current science, with concern for issues regarding chronic diseases, such as our metabolism, the gut microbiota, and inflammation.  You can find out more on the Alliance for Natural Health website which has lots of great resources – but here is the particular link regarding the Food4Health campaign. Here they elaborate on their key six guidelines and why they chose them. 

More than just what to eat

In addition to what to eat, they also comment on the frequency of eating and adding in regular exercise.

Concerning food frequency, they suggest spacing meals throughout the day with at least five hours in between. This would mean something like breakfast at 8 am, lunch at 1 pm and dinner at 6 pm. After 6 pm, they suggest intermittent fasting for at least 12 hours overnight. Thus if you finish dinner at 7 pm, delay breakfast until at least 7 am.

The guidelines come with ten key pointers which I think are really helpful. Just a plate can’t convey everything – so these fill in the gaps, adding the extra hints and tips.

I find the whole graphic to be clear and easy to understand.

What do you think?

How closely does your current eating style follow these guidelines?  

  • Do you have approximately 20% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 50% fat across the day?
  • What about the 5 hours between meals? Are you a snacker instead? 
  • Do you do the intermittent fasting?
  • Is there one section on the plate that you are low on – maybe the herbs and spices?
  • Do you have more than the guidelines suggest in another section of the plate – maybe grains?
  • How easy do you think their guidelines are to adhere to? 

If you are unsure about any of the sections on the plate and its importance, do check on the link above. There you’ll find out more about the different guidelines which might help you understand why the recommendation is there, and the science behind it. 

I would love to hear your feedback on these guidelines and the graphic and how useful it is for you in planning your day’s eating.  Do leave your comments below or feel free to email me.

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