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The new Healthy Eating Pyramid

Nutrition Australia has updated its iconic Healthy Eating Pyramid for the first time in 15 years in an effort to combat growing nutrition confusion and risky fad diets.

Clearer advice on the five core food groups

The new pyramid provides clearer advice on the five core food groups we should aim to eat every day for a healthy balanced diet, consistent with the latest Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Nutrition Australia Vic Division, Executive Officer Lucinda Hancock said health professionals are concerned about the overwhelming amount of conflicting and confusing information about food and nutrition. "The new Pyramid cuts through the misleading information and fad diets that are getting so much attention, and provides Australians with a credible, flexible and realistic guide to eating well," said Ms Hancock. "Unfortunately we know that most Australians don't eat what is recommended by the Pyramid and the Dietary Guidelines, and this is why we're seeing such high rates of diet-related conditions."

Healthy Eating Pyramid

We asked our dietitian, Rachel Elovaris, what her view is on the updated healthy eating pyramid: 

"As a Health Professional it's exciting to see an updated version of the Healthy Eating Pyramid. The wealth of misinformation surrounding food makes it difficult for people to make informed food choices. The Healthy Eating Pyramid is a basic visual representation of a healthy food model which will make it easier for people to make healthier food choices. The Healthy Eating Pyramid is based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines (2013) - the most evidence-based advice."

Recommendations for each food layer are detailed below:

  • Eat most: mainly vegetables (and legumes and fruit),
  • Eat moderately: healthy whole grains (carbohydrates such as brown rice, oats and quinoa),
  • Eat moderately: protein (lean meat, chicken and fish) and non-meat options (legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds, milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives),
  • Eat least: Healthy fats and oils (monounsaturated: avocados, almonds, cashews, peanuts and cooking oils made from plants or seeds; polyunsaturated: fish, tahini, margarine spreads, linseed, sunflower and safflower oil, pine nuts and brazil nuts).

The key take home messages are:

  • Enjoy foods from each layer of the pyramid, drink water and limit the amount of sugar and salt (replace with herbs or spices) added to food.
  • Eat everything in moderation, remembering to balance food eaten (energy in) with physical activity (energy out).

Fod individual advice, please speak to your Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD).

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Copyright © The Australian Nutrition Foundation, 2015

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