Miracle Diet

Miracle Diet?

What if I told you there was a diet that was formulated, after rigorous analysis of high quality scientific data, to ensure optimal health and reduced risk of diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer? What if I also told you that it was endorsed and promoted by qualified dietitians, nutritionists and medical professionals? What if I also told you that it was flexible enough to be adapted to people of any age or dietary requirement (including vegetarians and those with allergies)? What if I also told you that you wouldn’t need to purchase any unusual ingredients or kitchen equipment or regularly consult any complicated lists of foods or diet plans?

You’d be excited right?

Well, what if I then told you that I’m talking about the Australian Dietary Guidelines?

You’d probably say No, that’s rubbish. We learnt about them in school. They were so boring. Or you might say if they’re so good, how come people are still getting fat and dropping dead from heart attacks?

The problem is that not many people actually follow the dietary guidelines. Australian national nutrition surveys have found that adherence to the guidelines is, on average, poor. I guess they’re just not sexy, or complicated enough or maybe they don’t offer the quick fix that people are often looking for when it comes to health.

If people would just take another look I think they’d find that the guidelines offer a solid, sensible, proven guide to model your life on.

*Summary of the guidelines:

Guideline 1

To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of

nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs.

 

Guideline 2

Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five groups every day:

• Plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/beans

• Fruit

• Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as

breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley

• lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans

• Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat (reduced fat

milks are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years)

And drink plenty of water.

 

Guideline 3

  1. Limit intake of foods high in saturated fat such as many biscuits, cakes, pastries,

pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips,

crisps and other savoury snacks.

• Replace high fat foods which contain predominantly saturated fats such as

butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil with foods which

contain predominantly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils,

spreads, nut butters/pastes and avocado.

• low fat diets are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years.

 

  1. Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added salt.

• Read labels to choose lower sodium options among similar foods.

• Do not add salt to foods in cooking or at the table.

 

c. Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars such as confectionary, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy and sports drinks.

d. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit intake. For women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Guideline 4

Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding.

 

Guideline 5

Care for your food: prepare and store it safely

 

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*Suggested Dietary Patterns:

The dietary patterns in the tables below provide the nutrients and energy needed for individuals of average height with sedentary to moderate activity levels.

Additional serves of the Five Food Groups or unsaturated spreads and oils or discretionary choices are needed only by those who are taller or more active, to meet additional energy requirements.

 

Dietary guide table for children (recommended number of serves per day)

Food Group Serve definition Toddlers 13-23 months Children 2-3 years Children 4-8 years Children 9-11 years Children 12-13 years Children 14-18 years
Vegetables and legumes/ beans 1/2 cup cooked vegetables (75 g)1 cup salad vegetables

1 small potato

½ cup cooked dried or canned beans or lentils, no added salt

2-3 2 ½ 4 ½ 5 5 ½ boys

5 girls

5 ½Boys

 

5 girls

 

Fruits 1 medium piece of fresh fruit (150 g)30 g dried fruit (e.g. 4 dried apricot halves)

1 cup canned fruit (150 g)

½ 1 1 ½ 2 2 2
Grains (cereal) foods 1 slice of bread or ½ a medium roll or flat bread (about 40 g)½ cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles

½ cup cooked porridge or polenta, 2/3 cup breakfast cereal flakes (30 g) or ½ cup muesli

4 4 4 5 boys

4 girls

6 boys

5 girls

7
Lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes/ beans 65 g cooked lean red meats or ½ cup of lean mince, 2 small chops80 g cooked poultry

100 g cooked fish fillet or 1 small can of fish

2 large eggs

170 g tofu

1 1 2 boys

1 ½ girls

2 ½ 2 ½ 2 ½
Milk, yoghurt, cheese and or alternatives 250 mL cup of milk200 g tub of yoghurt

40 g or 2 slices of cheese

120g ricotta cheese

1-1 ½ 1 ½ 2 boys

1 ½ girls

2 ½boys

 

3

Girls

3 ½ 3 ½
Additional serves from the five food groups or discretionary choices for those who are taller or more active 0-1 0-2 ½ boys

0-1 girls

0-3 0-3 0-3 boys

0-2 ½

girls

 

 

Dietary guideline table for adults (recommended number of serves per day)

Food Group Serve definition Adults 19-50 years Pregnant Lactating Adults 51-70 years Adults 70+
Vegetables and legumes/ beans 1/2 cup cooked vegetables (75 g)1 cup salad vegetables

1 small potato

½ cup cooked dried or canned beans or lentils, no added salt

6 men

5 women

5 7 1/2 5 ½ men

5 women

5
Fruits 1 medium piece of fresh fruit (150 g)30 g dried fruit (e.g. 4 dried apricot halves)

1 cup canned fruit (150 g)

2 2 2 2 2
Grains (cereal) foods 1 slice of bread or ½ a medium roll or flat bread (about 40 g)½ cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles

½ cup cooked porridge or polenta, 2/3 cup breakfast cereal flakes (30 g) or ½ cup muesli

6 8 ½ 9 6 men

4 women

4 ½ men

3 women

Lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes/ beans 65 g cooked lean red meats or ½ cup of lean mince, 2 small chops80 g cooked poultry

100 g cooked fish fillet or 1 small can of fish

2 large eggs

170 g tofu

3 men

2 ½

women

3 ½ 2 ½ 2 ½ men

2 women

2 ½ men

2 women

Milk, yoghurt, cheese and or alternatives 250 mL cup of milk200 g tub of yoghurt

40 g or 2 slices of cheese

120g ricotta cheese

2 1/2 2 ½ 2 ½ 2 ½ men

4 women

3 ½ men

4 women

Additional serves from the five food groups or discretionary choices for those who are taller or more active 0-3 men

0-2 ½ women

0- 2 1/2 0- 2 1/2 0-2 ½ 0-2 ½ men

0-2 women

 

 

For more information about the Australian Dietary Guidelines, visit the Eat For Health website.

* Source: http://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines

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