Fresh eating directions less austere

Thou shalt not eat onion only, thou shalt also eat paprika.


Until now, healthy eaters had to meticulously count and calculate what and how much they could consume. They may loosen up now, somewhat. 

«Keywords in new nutrition and food guidelines are need for variety and broader limits,» said National Institute for Health Development (TAI) expert Tagli Pitsi. First and foremost, variety means not favouring a couple of specific (including that by a specific producer) but picking various fruits, vegetables, breads etc.

Ms Pitsi says the approach is now applied to the entire food pyramid which will no longer stress the amounts but the equal importance of all food groups. «The borders between food groups will get blurred so people may replace and shift,» said Ms Pitsi while emphasising that all fibres, vitamins and minerals must come in needed quantity, and the right proportion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.  

Half kilo of meat a day

While portions are expressed daily, Ms Pitsi says it’s better to plan one’s eating for a longer period like a week or so. «Like eating four portions of fish one day, and four of meat the next,» she suggested.

With meat, Ms Pitsi underlines the way it has been processed. «With red meat processed – both industrially and heavily fried at home – better not go above 500 grams a week,» noted Ms Pitsi. Regarding fish, Estonians would be wise to have it served at least twice a week.

Optimal fibre

While ladies magazines are coming down heavy on carbohydrates, the advised amount of these has not been seriously reduced and they ought to provide for at least half of daily energy.

«Currently, we tend to have little fibre in our meals and if people fear carbohydrates and avoid these,» noted Ms Pitsi. Whole grain products are good regarding fibres, as well as fruits and veggies.

Also, TAI says eat a little less and move more: «The usual habit is to overestimate their exercise and underestimate amounts of food consumed.»

TAI is presenting its new guidelines on November 5th

Balanced menu

(advisable percent of daily energy)

Before                             Now

Proteins 10–15%            10–20%

Fats 25–30%                  25–35%

Carbohydrates 55–60%  50–60%

Advisable amounts of certain vitamins and minerals have been upgraded.

Source: TAI