noun (Collins English Dictionary)
1. the general condition of body and mind, better health
2. the state of being bodily and mentally vigourous and free from disease
Department of Health and Ageing has developed the Australian Guide to Healthy
Eating. The guide is designed to help people choose a healthy diet from a
variety of foods. Healthy
eating is a fundamental key to maintaining physical health. An adequate intake
of food and nutrients helps to maintain an optimal health status. In
contrast, a food intake that is deficient or excessive increases our risk of
illness and disease.
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating provides specific information
about the amounts and types of foods that should be included in a healthy
eating plan for different age groups, genders and eating styles.
By following these guidelines you can meet your Recommended
Dietary Intakes for vitamins and minerals along with the Australian Dietary
Three Steps to Healthy Eating:
2. Identify the number of serves you need each day to make up your personal
healthy eating plan.
3. Use your personal eating pattern to plan a
daily or weekly menu.
Food groups include:
- Bread, Cereals, Rice, Pasta and Noodles
- Vegetables and Legumes
- Milk, Yogurt and Cheese
- Meat, Fish, Poultry, Eggs, Nuts and Legumes
Recommended daily serves from the various food groups to meet your energy and nutrient needs:
The Dietary Guidelines recommends
Cereals(inc breads, rice, pasta)
Vegetables & Legumes
Lean meat, fish, poultry, nuts & legumes
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating – background
information for consumers. Canberra:
Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, 1998.
What is a serve?
Here are some examples of one serve for various food groups:
Cereals, breads, rice, pasta, noodles
- 2 slices of bread; 1 medium bread roll; 1 cup cooked rice, pasta, or noodles
- 1 cup porridge, 1 cup breakfast cereal flakes, or ½ cup muesli
Vegetables and legumes (choose a variety)
- Starchy vegetables: 1 medium potato, ½ medium sweet potato, 1 medium parsnip
- Dark green leafy vegetables: ½ cup cabbage, spinach, silverbeet, broccoli, cauliflower or brussel sprouts
- Legumes and other vegetables: 1 cup lettuce or salad vegetables; ½
cup broad beans, lentils, peas, green beans, zucchini, mushrooms,
tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, sweetcorn, turnips, sprouts, celery,
- 1 piece medium sized fruit (eg apple, orange, mango, banana, pear, etc)
- 2 pieces of smaller fruit eg. apricots, kiwi, plum, figs, etc,
about 8 strawberries, about 20 grapes or cherries, ½ cup (125ml) fruit
juice (sugar free), ¼ medium melon (eg. rockmelon)
- Dried fruit eg 4 dried apricots or 1½ tablespoon sultanas
- 1 cup diced pieces/canned fruit
Milk, yogurt, cheese & alternatives
- 250 ml glass or one cup of milk (can be fresh, long life or reconstituted milk)
- ½ cup evaporated milk, 40g (2 slices) cheese or 250ml (1 cup) of custard
- 200g (1 small carton) of plain or fruit yoghurt
- 1 cup of calcium-fortified soy milk, 1 cup almonds, ½ cup pink salmon with bones
Meat, fish, poultry & alternatives
- 65-100gm cooked meat/chicken (eg ½ cup mince, 2 small chops, or 2 slices roast meat)
- 80-120g cooked fish fillet,
- 2 small eggs, ⅓ cup cooked dried beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas or canned beans, or 1/3 cup peanuts/almonds
Foods which we can occasionally include for variety. They are generally higher in fat and/or sugar, kilojoules, salt etc.
- 1 medium slice of plain cake or 1 bun, 3-4 plain sweet biscuits,
half a small chocolate bar, 60g jam, honey (1 tablespoon), 30g (1/2 a
small packet) potato crisps, 1 slice pizza = 2 extras
- 1 can soft drink or 2 glasses cordial, 2 scoops ice-cream, 1 meat pie or pasty = 3 extras
- 2 standard glasses of alcohol (for adults only)
- 1 tablespoon (20g) butter, margarine, oil
Seven golden rules for healthy
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat more fruit and vegetables (at least two servings of fruit and five
servings of vegetables every day).
3. Manage your portion sizes.
4. Eat less processed food.
5. Eat regular meals – don’t skip meals – and always eat a healthy breakfast.
6. Restrict your alcohol intake.
7. Limit your intake of “extra” food. These foods are not essential to provide
the nutrients the body needs and some contain too much added fat, sugar and
salt. Examples include lollies, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, pastries, soft
drinks, chips, pies, sausage rolls and other takeaways. Choose these foods
sometimes or in small amounts.
- Add fruit and/or yoghurt to reduced
fat milk and blend them together to make smoothies.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables, dried
fruit or an occasional handful of unsalted nuts make a good snack.
- Fruit bread and wholegrain bread or
toast with healthy spreads such as avocado or low-fat cream cheese, makes a
filling, healthy snack.
- Eat some low fat yoghurt with fresh
- Choose wholegrain breakfast cereal
with reduced fat milk.
- Fruits such as oranges and grapes
make delicious frozen snacks.