White bread has been banished from Ireland’s new revised Food Pyramid guide to healthy eating.
Even the humble spud has been demoted in the revised eating plan designed to change the way we eat.
The familiar Food Pyramid shows how much of what you eat overall should come from each shelf to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.
The shape of the Food Pyramid shows the types of foods and drinks people need to eat most for healthy eating.
It is divided into six shelves and each provides you with the range of nutrients and energy needed for good health.
But up until now bread in all of its varieties and potatoes have had pride of place on the “bottom shelf” with fruit and veg on the second shelf.
But food chiefs have created a new guide to help the nation achieve a balanced diet and a healthy weight.
Vegetables, salad and fruit are now on the bottom shelf for the first time with people being urged to eat at least seven portions of food from this shelf every day.
Potatoes do find a place on the new second shelf but white bread has completely vanished. Wholemeal and wholegrain breads remain.
In general people are now advised they can eat up to three to five servings from the “second shelf” a day with teenage boys getting an extra allowance of seven a day.
Men aged 19-50 are allowed seven portions too from this carb rich shelf a day under the new guidelines.
Irish Bread Bakers Association, food technologist Oonagh Monahan sprang to the defense of the humble sliced white pan.
She said: “There’s nothing at all wrong with a slice of white bread. If you stuff a sandwich with lots of fillings then that’s where any fat in the sandwich can come from, but you’re not getting much fat at all from the bread itself”.
“Like all good foods, bread should be an important part in everyone’s balanced diet. It is good value and an inexpensive source of many of the nutrients that our bodies require, whatever age you may be.”
Dr. Mary McCreery, a Dietitian and Consultant Nutritionist at the Blackrock Clinic said contrary to popular belief, bread is actually good for us.
“There is very little fat in bread. A slice of bread has the same calories as a large apple. It also provides protein, folic acid and many nutrients, such as dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals in our diet.”
Calcium rich dairy foods like milk and cheese take up the third shelf of the new Food Pyramid.
Protein packed meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts are on the four shelf followed by fats, spreads and oils on the fifth shelf.
The revised Food Pyramid separates the “Top Shelf” or the apex from the rest of the pyramid.
The Top Shelf includes sweet treats, biscuits, chocolates, sweets and sugary fizzy drinks.
The official advice is: “These are not needed for good health and should not be consumed every day. Very small amounts once or twice a week maximum is sufficient.”