Revised Scottish Dietary Goals

The Scottish Government are telling us to eat less sugar and more fibre, via their recently published revised Scottish Dietary Goals.

Scottish ministers have made the changes to the Scottish Dietary Goals publication, based on evidence and advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) and Food Standards Scotland.

The new guidelines suggest a person should:

  • have no more than five per cent free sugars in their diet – a 50 per cent reduction from the previous level,
  • eat 30g of fibre a day – a 25 per cent increase on previous levels, and
  • aim to have carbohydrates make up around 50 per cent of their total energy intake.

For sugar, this equates to roughly 30g, or six teaspoons a day for a typical adult, and less for children. Free sugars being those added to food, or those naturally occurring in fruit juices, honey and syrups. Eating too much sugar can lead to health problems including obesity and diabetes.  Whilst fibre helps to prevent heart disease, diabetes and weight gain, improve digestive health and can reduce the risk of some cancers.

Food Standards Scotland have launched the new Eatwell Guide, which replaces the previous ‘eatwell plate’, and shows people in Scotland how they can achieve a healthy balanced diet.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Public Health, said:
“The Scottish Dietary Goals have always been based on scientific evidence, and given the latest clear advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, and Food Standards Scotland, we have decided to amend them accordingly.

“Despite some improvements in recent years, obesity levels are still too high in Scotland. Also, in common with most of western Europe, we have seen continued increases in the levels of Type 2 diabetes. It’s clear that, as a nation, we need to improve our diet and think more about reducing our sugar intake and eating more fibre.

The full revised Scottish Dietary Goals can be read here, and the new Eatwell Guide is here.