Australia’s New Healthy Eating Pyramid Explained

new healthy eating pyramid

Image Source: Nutrition Australia

The new Healthy Eating Pyramid has been released by Nutrition Australia on the back of the new Australian Dietary Guidelines which were released in 2013. It’s aim to is to provide a guide for Australian’s on how they can eat a varied and balanced diet.

There are more than a few changes to the new pyramid when compared to the Healthy Eating Pyramid which many of us grew up with:

  • The ‘Eat More’ layer has been split into three main food groups.
  • The middle ‘ Eat Moderately’ layer has been split into more food groups.
  • The top layer now only refers to healthy fats instead of encouraging people to limit the amount of fats and sugar in their diets.
  • Herbs and Spices have been added.
  • The ‘Move More’ layer which was added in 2004 has been removed as a way of returning the focus of the pyramid to food and nutrition.

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Previous version of the Healthy Eating Pyramid. Image source: Nutrition Australia

The new Healthy Eating Pyramid explained:

The foundation layers of the Healthy Eating Pyramid now include three plant based food groups.  These food groups make up the largest portion of the pyramid to coincide with the recommendation that they should also make up the largest proportion of our diet – approximately 70% of our daily food intake.  These layers include:

  • Vegetables and Legumes
  • Fruits
  • Grains

It’s recommended that older children, teenagers and adults should aim to consume at least 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables or legumes each day.

The middle layer includes:

  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives
  • Lean meat, poultry, fish
  • Eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes

The top layer includes healthy fats which everyone needs to consume in small amounts each day to help support healthy heart health and brain function.  When choosing which fats to consume, we should be choosing foods containing healthy fats (fats from plant sources such as extra virgin olive oil, nut and seed oils) versus those which contain saturated or trans fats.

Additional messages in the new Healthy Eating Pyramid also include:

Choose Water

By choosing water as your main drink throughout the day will help you stay hydrated along with supporting may essential functions of your body.

Limit salt and added sugar

It’s important to limit our intake of salt and added sugar where we can.  The best way to do this is by avoiding pre-packaged foods and reducing or cutting out completely the sugar and salt you add to your meals at home.

Enjoy herbs and spices

Many herbs and spices have properties which help improve your overall health and they are also a grew way to increase flavour and introduce colour into your meals without using manufactured preservatives.

What do you think about the new Healthy Eating Pyramid?

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