You may have heard that the Healthy Eating Pyramid has received an update. The updated Pyramid certainly looks more modern and appealing. But what has really changed and what does it mean for you?
What is the Healthy Eating Pyramid?
The Healthy Eating Pyramid is Nutrition Australia’s iconic food selection guide. It’s a simple visual guide to the types and proportion of foods that we should eat every day for good health. It displays foods grouped together and in layers based on the balance we need for health and wellbeing.
The Pyramid has evolved over the years based on current research and nutrition guidelines. You can read a brief history here.
The new Pyramid provides clearer advice on the core food groups we should aim to eat every day for a healthy balanced diet. These food groups are consistent with the latest Australian Dietary Guidelines released by the Australian Government in 2013.
- The new Pyramid separates each layer into the specific food groups.
- Plant-based foods still take up the largest amount of space, with fruit, vegetables and legumes emphasised in the bottom layer, followed by grain foods.
- Moderate amounts of dairy and protein foods (lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes) are in the next tier
- Small amounts of healthy fats are at the very top
- It also encourages drinking water, limiting salt and added sugar, and to enjoy herbs and spices to flavour foods without using salt.
Does the Healthy Eating Pyramid replace the Australian Dietary Guidelines or Australian Guide to Healthy Eating?
Not at all!
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating is a food selection guide that accompanies the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines and was created by the Australian Government. The Healthy Food Pyramid aims to convey key information for a nutritious diet, based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines and was created by Nutrition Australia.
The Pyramid is not designed to replace the Australian Dietary Guidelines nor tailored advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
What does it mean for me?
- Focus on a variety plant based foods for good health and optimum nutrition.
- Make sure your diet includes a variety of vegetables, fruit and wholegrains like oats, brown rice, barley and quinoa.
- Choose lean quality protein sources to keep you full and get variety from plant based protein like legumes and tofu.
- Calcium rich dairy products or calcium-richmilk alternatives are important for strong bones and teeth.
- Don’t be afraid of adding a small amount of healthy fat to meals such as olive oil, avocado or nuts and seeds.
- Water is still your best friend and should be the drink of choice for hydration.
- Watch out for added sugar and salt in products you purchase or make from scratch.\
- Get creative and flavour foods with herbs and spices (we recommend growing herbs at home so they are always fresh when you need them, and so much cheaper!)
Where can you get a copy of the new Healthy Eating Pyramid?