The latest draft of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s [NHMRC] Australian Dietary Guidelines (as well as the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating) were released this week. Although aimed in part at health professionals, policy makers and food manufacturers/ retailers, anyone with an interest in what they (and their families) eat will benefit by taking a peek.
In a nutshell the guidelines, which were developed after the NHMRC’s experts analysed some 55,000 scientific papers, say most Australians need to eat more of things like:
- Vegetables, legumes and beans
- Wholegrain cereal
- Low fat milk, cheese and yogurt
- Vegetables high in starch – like potatoes
- Refined cereals
- High-medium fat dairy foods
- Foods high in saturated fat and high levels of added salt and sugar (like those found in many take away or fast foods, confectionary etc).
For parents responsible for instilling good dietary habits in kids, scientific research has strengthened for the association between the consumption of sugar sweetened drinks and the risk of excessive weight gain (which applies to adults too) along with evidence that eating fruit and drinking milk can decrease heart disease and some forms of cancer.
Although the guidelines were developed to promote health and wellbeing and decrease risks associated with poor diet and chronic conditions such type 2 diabetes, findings are not surprising. Reading and (excuse the pun) digesting a few key messages could make a big difference to family wellbeing.
And another good reason to follow the NHMRC’s latest dietary advice? Eating fresh food while avoiding processed items -which generally come with lots of packaging, is not only better for your body but kinder on the environment too. Now that’s something to raise a glass to!
For more information on the Australian Dietary Guidelines go here.
Do you like to keep up to date with the latest dietary advice or do you follow a more basic approach to your family’s eating habits?