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The Nutritional Rainbow Diet for Healthy Nutrition

Eating Efsharibari according to the Ministry of Health's national nutritional recommendations

Goodbye and thank you, food pyramid, Israel is moving forward to the nutritional rainbow diet for healthy nutrition. After extensive development efforts as part of the national program Efsharibari, the Nutrition Department in the Ministry of Health presents Israel's new national nutritional guidelines in a graphic representation – the nutritional rainbow diet for healthy nutrition. Now we all have a clearer mental image of the new nutritional recommendations that are more extensive, more up-to-date and also simpler and more applicable.

The nutritional rainbow diet for healthy nutrition is divided according to the recommended consumption frequency of the main food groups

The green rainbow – it is recommended drinking plenty of water and the following foods should be included with variations on a daily basis: Vegetables, fruit and whole grain. These are whole foods that provide various nutritional values and it is important to eat them several times a day with variations on colors and the manner of consumption.

The yellow rainbow – foods that should be consumed at least once a day, from each of the three following groups:

  1. Legumes such as lentils, beans, chickpeas, broad beans, peas
  2. Fat-rich vegetable sources such as olive oil, tahini, nuts, avocado
  3. Non-Sweetened dairy products and their substitutes

Each of these groups contribute to health greatly. It is recommended to consume them at least once a day.

The orange rainbow – foods that should be consumed several times a week: Includes animal-based products that should be consumed, with variations, throughout the week, rather than every day. Like the other foods on this rainbow, it is recommended that you buy them raw and cook them at home.

The pink rainbow – raw beef: The recommendation is that you do not consume more than 300 grams of beef in home cooked meals (this recommendation does not include cured and highly-processed beef products such as pre-cooked sausages, hot dogs, kebabs and hamburgers).

Separate from the rainbow and beneath it – foods that should be avoided: These are mostly ultra-processed products (sweets, snacks, soft drinks – mostly sweetened ones, sausages, hot dogs and processed beef products and more) that contain ingredients that you'll have a hard time locating in your home kitchen, such as nutrient extracts and industrial additives such as substances for improving taste, color or texture. These products are usually packed and ready for immediate consumption or after minimal preparation (such as adding boiling water, microwaving etc.).

Test yourself – To what degree does your diet conform to the national nutritional recommendations (Hebrew)

The nutritional benefits of the colors of the nutritional rainbow

The green rainbow: Provides whole foods that contain various nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fibers.

The yellow rainbow: Provides whole foods from the legumes, fats and dairy groups. Legumes provide protein, fibers and various vitamins and minerals. Olive oil has high nutritious qualities, the various nuts are a good source of healthy fats, proteins and fiber. Milk and dairy products (as well as substitutes thereof) add protein and calcium to the menu.

The orange rainbow: Includes animal-based foods consumed at a frequency of several times a week that provide protein and iron.

The pink rainbow: Includes animal-based foods consumed at a low frequency that provide protein and iron.

The main principles of the nutritional rainbow diet for healthy nutrition

  • The new nutritional rainbow visually expresses the national nutritional recommendations so that it will be easier and more tangible to compose a menu that is healthy, nutritious, sustainable, social and at a universally-accessible cost.
  • Raw foods or minimally-processed foods stand at the foundation of healthy nutrition, whereas ultra-processed products such as breakfast cereals, sweetened soft drinks, snacks, sweets and ultra-processed meat or substitutes thereof are harmful to human health and contribute to increased morbidity rates.
  • The national nutritional recommendations are mostly based on plant-based foods: Vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Alongside these, moderate consumption of animal-based foods can be integrated throughout the week.

The impact of the nutritional rainbow diet: Health, environment and economy

  • Health-related value: The national nutritional recommendations were drawn in light of the Mediterranean diet, scientifically proven to be beneficial for health and disease prevention.
  • Environmental value: Nutrition according to these recommendations carries a milder impact on the environment: Less animal-based food products, less ultra-processed products, less packages and waste and as a result reduced carbon and ecologic footprint.
  • Economic value: When we reduce the consumption of ultra-processed and harmful foods and beverages and purchase more local, seasonal or raw food, our food expenses are lower. Tap water is cheaper than sweetened beverages; raw legumes are cheaper than prepared food and meat; seasonal fruit and vegetables are cheaper than out-of-season fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, a diet that prevents diseases reduces our health expenses.
  • Social value: Home cooking, joint preparation and family meals contribute to the sense of belonging, tradition preservation, independence and safety. These family gatherings have been found to prevent violence among young people and teenagers and create a healthier diet. Healthier eating among all populations will reduce the social inequality and increase nutrition security.

food rainbow

The impact of the nutritional rainbow diet: Health, environment and economy

You should know

  • The new national nutritional recommendations are aimed to help all of us better understand how we can eat healthier throughout the day. They are flexible, easy to understand and implement, and represented in a graphic form as a rainbow, selected after an in-depth and joint deliberations by experts from the fields of nutrition, health promotion, communications, social marketing and design.
  • These nutritional recommendations are aimed at the general population. Those suffering from conditions that carry certain dietary restrictions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, renal disease, liver diseases and others, as well as those who have taken upon themselves certain dietary restrictions (vegetarianism, veganism and more) that require nutritional adjustments should consult a nutritionist and receive personal guidance.

Read more

Recipes for a family meal

New governmental dietrary guidelines

The nutritional rainbow diet - Video (Hebrew)
The nutritional rainbow diet - Video (Arabic)