Wed, May 16, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Pictorial guide to healthy meals released

HELP NEEDED:Surveys show that more than 90 percent of Taiwanese do not eat healthily on a daily basis, so the agency thought a visual depiction might be helpful

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A Health Promotion Administration illustration, titled “My meal plate,” shows ingredients for a healthy, balanced meal.

Photo courtesy of the Health Promotion Administration

The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) has published a “my meal plate” illustration to promote eating healthy, nutritionally balanced meals.

HPA Deputy Director-General Yu Li-hui (游麗惠) said the agency translated the government’s Dietary Guideline of Taiwan into a picture of what an ideal meal would look like to give the public a more tangible idea of the proportion of six major food groups they should consume.

The illustration shows a plate divided into four sections, with icons of food groups — whole grains and grain crops, beans, fish, eggs and meat, fruit and vegetables — in each section, a circle on the side with an icon of milk and cheese representing dairy foods, and the shape of two nuts on the side.

Also on the side are easy instructions on recommended proportions of the food groups, such as “dairy products: a cup of milk in the morning and a cup at night — an average of one-and-a-half to two cups per day,” and “fruit: about the size of a fist for every meal — local, seasonal and diversified.”

This year’s Dietary Guideline of Taiwan suggests adults to have one-and-a-half to four bowls of whole grains and miscellaneous grain crops; three to eight servings of beans, fish, eggs and meat; three to five servings of vegetables; two to four servings of fruit; about one-and-a-half to two cups of dairy products; and three to seven teaspoons of oil and a handful of nuts per day.

While people should prepare healthy meals according to the “my meal plate” concept, which total about 850 calories per meal, they can make small modifications according to their likes and lifestyles, Yu said.

For example, a woman with a sedentary lifestyle could reduce the amounts in each group to three-quarters, which would reduce the total calories to about 650 yet still maintain balanced nutrition, Yu said.

The HPA also designed a simple formula to go along with the illustration to help people remember the principles: one cup of milk in the morning and one at night, fruit about the size of a fist at each meal, a little bit more of vegetables than fruit, about the same amount of rice (whole grains or miscellaneous) as vegetables, about a palm-size serving for beans, fish, eggs and meat, and one teaspoon of nuts, she said.

HPA’s Nutrition and Health Surveys conducted between 2013 and 2016 of people aged from 19 to 64 found that 99.8 percent did not get enough dairy products, 91 percent did not eat enough nuts and 86 percent did not eat enough fruit and vegetables.

The “my meal plate” picture, the dietary guidelines and more detailed information can be found on the HPA’s Web site in Chinese (obesity.hpa.gov.tw/TC/Eat.aspx).

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