Health experts in England issued new guidelines on Thursday advising people to eat more fiber and drink more water.
Public Health England (PHE) in its revised Eat Well Guide said a healthy diet should now include more fruit, vegetables and starchy carbohydrates, preferably whole grain, and fewer sugary foods and drinks.
The new guide shows revised proportions of food groups that help people meet official advice and nutrient requirements.
It has been refreshed to reflect updated dietary recommendations, including those on sugar, fibre and starchy carbohydrates from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).
School teachers, local authorities, non-governmental organizations, the food and drink industry, key community figures and health professionals are being encouraged to use the guide to help the nation improve its diet.
PHE in its statement today said: "PHE recommends consuming 50 grams of fiber a day, the same as eating five portions of fruit and vegetables, two whole-wheat cereal biscuits, two thick slices of wholemeal bread and one large baked potato with the skin on. Currently, people only consume around 19 grams of fiber per day, less than two thirds the recommendation."
Sugary soft drinks have been removed from the guidelines and foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar have been moved to the periphery of the guide, reflecting advice that they are not an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Adults, says PHE, should have less than six grams of salt and 20 grams of saturated fat for women or 50 grams for men a day.
The Eat Well Guide now displays drinks recommendations which make clear that adults should be aiming to have six to eight glasses of fluids per day ideally from water, lower fat milks, and unsweetened tea or coffee.
Dr. Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: "Our new guide helps people to understand what a healthy balanced diet looks like. The evidence shows that we should continue to base our meals on starchy carbohydrates, especially whole grains, and eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day."
"On the whole, cutting back on foods and drinks that are high in saturated fat, salt, sugar and calories would improve our diets, helping to reduce obesity and the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease and some cancers," she said.