The purpose behind the creation of Dietary Guidelines Australia is to give consumers information about the types of foods that are required to promote good health and wellbeing, as well as the amounts of each of these food groups. The guidelines have been based on the latest research and scientific evidence and their intention is to help people live a longer and healthier life.
Understanding The Dietary Guidelines For Australia
The Australian Dietary Guidelines contain important information about the kind and amount foods you should eat. It also makes recommendations on healthy eating patterns. Currently diet-related chronic disease is one of the leading causes of disability and death in Australia.
The purpose of the Australian Dietary Guidelines is to
- Inform people about and promote health and wellness
- To minimise occurrence of conditions that are related to diet. Examples of these conditions include obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol.
- To minimise the occurrence of chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and cancer.
- Inform and educate young children and promote healthy dietary habits so that children can grow into healthy adults.
The guidelines also seek to promote healthy breastfeeding and hygienic food storage.
What Are The Dietary Guidelines For Australia?
Recommendations are made about the type and amount of food you should eat based on your levels of physical activity, age, weight and gender. Each year the guidelines are updated to reflect the latest research.
This is very useful at a time when advertising and marketing can make it difficult for consumers to make informed decisions about their diet and the food products they purchase.
The research suggests that Australians should consume a balanced and diverse diet that includes a balance of the five food groups every day.
These guidelines are illustrated in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and include
- Lean protein sources like fish, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds
- Fresh vegetables especially green leafy veg
- Fresh fruits of different colours
- Dairy and milk products such as natural yoghurt and cheese
- Whole grains and cereals
The guidelines also specify drinking lots of water and limiting your intake of fats and oils.
Diversity of diet ensures you get all the key nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. It also means you are less likely to get bored. The research also highlights that there is a lot of unhealthy eating going on, and recommends that people reduce their intake of:
- Refined cereals and carbohydrates
- High fat dairy products
- Red meat
- Sugar beverages
- Processed food that offers low nutritional value but which has high amounts of salt or sugar.
Read food labels to familiarise yourself with the ingredients and to look at the salt, sugar or fat content of food products.
The consumption of these foods have been linked to weight gain, and an increased risk of heart disease. These foods are also high GI which means they do not provide a sustained source of energy. Instead they cause your blood sugar to spike, which results in a crash later on.
Balancing A Healthy Diet With Regular Exercise
The food we eat supplies energy to the body to keep us healthy. We need to use that energy in order to maintain a healthy weight. If we eat more energy then we use, our body stores the surplus as fat. Over time this can lead to health complications stemming from being overweight, including high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol. These conditions affect your quality of life and can shorten your life span.
To speak to a professional about the Dietary Guidelines Australia and improving your wellbeing please contact our in-house dietician: (02) 9159 6903.