About the VitaPlate
The VitaPlate shows you what should be on your plate three times a day, in order to create a healthy and complete meal. Just use your eyes to assess your meal in terms of health, it's super easy. If you make sure that you buy the right groceries, you can improvise and vary endlessly. In 2021, Dr. Goodfood will help you in the store to chose products that support your health, using nudges and information.
The VitaPlate is basically made up of three compartments
1. Fruits and vegetables: half of your plate
Eat at least 250 grams of vegetables per day (8 oz). They contain all the vitamins, minerals and bioactive substances that your body needs. You can eat as many vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts and fresh herbs as you like. The dietary fibre in these products help to make you feel satisfied. In addition, eat 200 grams of fruit per day. Fruit contains sugars in addition to vitamins and minerals, so don't overdo it. Dried fruit contains a lot of sugar, so don't eat more than a handful. Fruit and vegetables reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. Lots of leafy vegetables reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
2. Cereals and potatoes: a quarter of your plate
Approximately a quarter of your plate should be cereals and (sweet) potatoes. Make sure to choose wholemeal products and vary with sweet potatoes. Plain potatoes contain a lot of starch which is unfavourable for your blood sugar level, while whole grains stabilise your blood sugar level.
Whole grains reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. Your body will already experience benefits if you eat 2 servings of whole-grain products or 3 wholemeal sandwiches a day. In addition, grain products provide energy and many other nutrients, such as dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins and iron.
3. Protein sources: a quarter of your plate
A quarter of your plate is meant for beans (legumes), nuts and seeds, fish, meat, eggs, dairy, soy, and so on. Legumes are very healthy, try to eat at least 50 grams a day. Nuts, seeds and kernels are very healthy too: take at least 25 grams per day. Note: if you are a vegetarian or do not eat protein from animal sources, it is important to eat 25-30% more protein daily. Your body finds it slightly more difficult to convert vegetable proteins into body proteins.
Balance your plate in the way most suitable for you
The VitaPlate is suitable for everybody and does not exclude personal choices. You can finetune the proportions of the VitaPlate to your own needs. The exact amounts may vary from person to person. If you are on a low-carb, paleo or keto diet, feel free to adapt the amounts.
What does your body tell you?
Listen to your body. When you go shopping or put together your meal, it is good to check in with what your body tells you. Take a good look at your plate or your shopping trolly and think about whether you can add something nutritious. Does it look complete to you? Could you add some vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds or legumes? Look around in the store, see what really appeals to you, create a meal with it. Follow your gut feeling.
Lots of vegetables and fruit!
If half of your meal consists of fruits and vegetables three times a day, your body receives a plethora of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and fytonutrients, that contribute directly to your health. If you manage that, you will eat healthier than 95% of all Europeans.
More biodiversity on your plate
It's good to vary and try different products. Not just for yourself, but also for the planet. Try a new product once in a while, try out a new recipe. A wider range of products allows for more diversity in agriculture. You will not only support farmers, but also make your meals healthier and more exciting.