Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Australian Dietary Guidelines - what's new?

The new & revised Australian Dietary Guidelines were released on the 18th February. The guidelines are for all healthy Australians. They are intended as a tool to help us make healthy food choices. 

What's changed since 2003?

The last time the Dietary Guidelines were revised was in 2003. The latest evidence shows that we need to eat more:
  • Vegetables and legumes/beans 
  • Fruits 
  • Wholegrain foods such as wholegrain bread, oats, quinoa and barley
  • Milk, yoghurt and cheese, preferably reduced fat 
  • Fish, seafood, poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes and beans 
  • Red meat (young women only)
We need to eat less:
  • Refined grains such as white bread, low fibre cereals
  • Milk, yoghurt and cheese, full fat varieties 
  • Red meat (adult males only)
  • Energy dense, nutrient poor foods and drinks such as sugar sweetened drinks, fried foods, cakes, biscuits and confectionary 

The Australian Dietary Guidelines

1. To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs
  • Healthy weight range is a BMI = 18.5-25kg/m2
  • Women aim for waist circumference <80cm, Men <94cm
2. Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups every day:
  • Fruit
  • Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
  • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seedsand legumes/ beans
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat
  • Plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/ beans
3. Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol
  • Limit intake of foods high in saturated fat such as biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, pizza, fried foods, chips and other savoury snacks
  • Replace saturated fats such as butter, cream, coconut and palm oil with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters/ pastes and avocado
  • Limit foods and drinks containing added salt 
    • Read labels to choose lower salt options
    • Do not add salt to foods in cooking or at the table
  • Limit foods and drinks containing added sugars such as soft drinks, cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy and sports drinks
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, limit intake
4. Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding

5. Care for your food; prepare and store it safely

Sample meal plans available at:

How does your diet compare?....

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