December 13, 2011
Release of Draft Australian Dietary Guidelines
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) have today released the long awaited update of the Australian Dietary Guidelines incorporating the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Comments are invited from all interested parties by Wednesday the 29th February, 2012.
The 2011 Australian Dietary Guidelines is one large document incorporating the revised and updated 2003 Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults, Dietary Guidelines for Older Australians and the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents. It is based on the latest scientific evidence relating to foods, food patterns and health outcomes. The new guidelines now cover all age groups and discuss diet in terms of whole foods rather than in terms of nutrients or food components. Also included is the revised Australian Guide to Healthy Eating which now includes recommended food group serves and serve sizes for all population groups -infants 7-12 months, young children 13-23 months, children and adolescents 2-18 years and adults over 18 years of age.
There are 5 main guidelines. Each Guideline chapter provides information on the current situation, the evidence base for the guideline, how following the guideline will improve health and then practical considerations such as number of serves per day and serve sizes for each of the target groups. The target groupings include healthy adults, pregnant and lactating women, infants, children and adolescents, older people, Aboriginal and Torres Straight islanders and Vegetarians.
The Guidelines are:-
1. Eat a wide variety of nutritious foods from these 5 food groups everyday.
- plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes and beans
- grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain, such as breads, cereal, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, quinoa and barley
- lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans
- milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat (reduced fat milks are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years)
- And drink water
2. Limit intake of foods and drinks containing saturated and trans fats, added salt, added sugars and alcohol.
- Limit intake of foods and drinks containing saturated and trans fats - include small amounts of foods that contains unsaturated fats; low fat diets are not suitable for infants.
- Limit foods and drinks containing added salt - read labels and choose lower sodium options among similar foods; do not add salt to foods.
- Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars. In particular, limit sugar sweetened drinks.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, limit intake.
3. To achieve and maintain a healthy weight you should be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs.
- Children and adolescents should eat sufficient nutritious foods to grow and develop normally. They should be physically active everyday and their growth should be checked regularly.
- Older people should eat nutritious foods and keep physically active to help maintain muscle strength and a healthy weight.
4. Encourage and support breastfeeding.
5. Care for your food. prepare and store it safely.
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