Before we start...
There is no ‘one size fits all’ - this meal plan simply shows one way of meeting the UK fibre and free sugar recommendations, as well other UK food and nutrient based dietary guidelines - it is not, however, the only or definitive approach. The meal plan also includes ideas for you to still have a little bit of what you fancy - in moderation!
To help understand how to meet recommendations on free sugars and fibre in practice, BNF has done some simple dietary modelling to develop a 7-day meal plan for adults.
The plan illustrates, in practice, what a diet that meets the UK recommendations of no more than 5% of total energy from free sugars and at least 30g fibre may look like. The plan was also modelled to meet other macronutrient and micronutrient recommendations over the week, including the calcium and iron recommendations. It also meets 5 A DAY and the inclusion of at least two portion of fish a week (one portion being oily).
This illustrates just one approach to achieving the targets, but demonstrates that UK recommendations, particularly for dietary fibre and free sugars, are achievable through a balanced, healthy diet featuring inclusion of:
- wholegrain and higher fibre choices at mealtimes and for snacks;
- around eight portions of fruit and vegetables daily;
- pulses, nuts and seeds;
- lean red meat and limited amounts of processed meats within dietary recommendations;
- very few foods high in saturated fat and sugar (either as part of meals or as snacks);
- reduced salt options of products such as soy sauce, baked beans and stock cubes;
- healthier fats including use of unsaturated oils (such as rapeseed, olive or sunflower oil) for cooking and dressings and spreads made from them;
- lower fat dairy products.
Meals in our weekly plan are typical of the meals cooked or prepared in many UK homes, using a mix of fresh and processed ingredients; for example some meals were made from scratch, others included cooking sauces like curry paste, as well as the inclusion of some prepared foods such as baked beans, pizza and cartons of soup.
To see the plan, click on the above image, or download the below attached PDF.
Last reviewed February 2019. Next review due February 2022.