There is so much information about diets these days that comes from every direction, that it is hard to know what to follow and what to ignore. The Australian Dietary Guidelines are evidence-based eating guidelines that can help you to make healthy choices in your everyday life. They are endorsed by the Australian government and are easy to understand and implement!
Guideline 1: To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs.
Children, adolescents and adults should all aim to be physically active daily. The activity doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, just going on a short 30 minute walk each day easily suffices. This will help you to maintain a weight that is healthy for you, and goes hand in hand with eating nutritious foods. Try to stick to whole foods over anything too processed or sugary, especially drinks-wise.
Guideline 2: Enjoy a variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups every day.
These food groups are vegetables, fruits, grains, lean meats and dairy. Note that there is no food group for processed junk foods! These are recommended to be avoided as much as possible, although if you do feel the need to have them, make sure it is in moderation! The guidelines are also just a general idea for the population, so they do not hone in on certain diets such as vegetarian, vegan or paleo. This does not mean that these diets are bad, it only means that the general population does not follow them, so they are not considered.
Guideline 3: Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol.
This guideline mostly pertains to fast food, junk food and alcohol. When buying foods that aren’t in one of the five groups mentioned above, have a read of the label that is on the packaging, or the calories displayed on the menu board. Make an effort to know what your daily caloric intake should be (there are lots of calculators online), and when reading labels take note of that saturated fat percentage.
Guideline 4: Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding.
This one is self explanatory, but should not be forgotten.
Guideline 5: Care for your food; prepare and store it safely.
Again, this guideline is self explanatory. Be thoughtful and safe when it comes to food preparation, and make sure you check use by dates on products.
I hope that this post has helped you better understand the Australian Dietary Guidelines, and given you some thoughts as to how to incorporate them in your day to day life when making food choices! Remember as well, that everything is best in moderation!