It's not sexy. It's not being spruiked by a celebrity-come-nutrition-guru. You don't need to sign up to a 12 week program to access it. You don't need to buy expensive supplements or fancy ingredients to follow it. But it can help you to improve your health, help prevent disease and help you achieve a healthy weight. What is it? Drumroll please......
It's the Australian Dietary Guidelines and Guide To Healthy Eating!
Okay, Okay, I can see you glazing over already. But consider this:
In Australia we have a 'can't see the forest for the trees' situation going on. The nutrition supplement and weight loss industries are big booming businesses. Thousands are trialling the latest 'free' diets (eg. gluten free, dairy free) without a diagnosed medical requirement to do so. The shelf space taken up by the (sometimes misleadingly termed) 'health food' section of the supermarket seems to be growing larger every week.
Yet only 6.8% of us eat the recommended daily serves of vegetables, almost half of us don't eat the recommended serves of fruit, and just over a third of our energy (kJ) intake comes from discretionary foods (foods typically considered junk foods)*.
It seems we are desperately searching for the answers, but in doing so we are completely missing the basics of what makes up a healthy diet.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines and Guide To Healthy Eating provides us with the foundations of a healthy diet, but as a population we just don't seem to turn to it when trying to improve our eating habits. Perhaps it's too boring, perhaps we think it's too simple and won't work, perhaps we don't trust the science, perhaps it's not the magic pill/quick fix we all want. The reason is most probably a combination of all of the above.
For the rest of July, I will be posting about the Australian Guide To Healthy Eating, looking at serve sizes and showing you how I incorporate it into my own eating habits. Instead of just reciting the information, we'll look at practical tips and examples to help make the guidelines easier to follow. I encourage you to check out www.eatforhealth.gov.au and browse the tips and information that are available for the whole family.
I'd love to to hear your thoughts about the Australian Dietary Guidelines and Guide To Healthy Eating, so feel free to comment below!
*Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014, Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12, viewed 16 July 2014, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.007~2011-12~Main%20Features~Key%20Findings~1