The new food pyramid is in… guess what’s out? 11



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Nutrition Australia has updated the food pyramid for the first time in 15 years and, while the basic structure is the same, there are some surprises in store.

The new food pyramid has been designed to combat the rise of DIY food experts and the wealth of often confusing information on the internet about healthy eating.

Executive Officer of Nutrition Australia Victoria, Lucinda Hancock, says, “The new Pyramid cuts through the misleading information and fad diets that are getting so much attention, and provides Australians with a credible, flexible and realistic guide to eating well”.

Previous versions of the food pyramid grouped foods into three categories – eat most (fruit,vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes), eat moderately (dairy, meat and other proteins) and eat sparingly (fats and sugars).

Today’s pyramid is far clearer, with the five major food groups divided into four layers. Plant-based foods such as, fruit, vegetables and legumes make up the largest layer; followed by grains; then small amounts of dairy and proteins, including lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and lentils; and finally small amounts of healthy fats, such as olive oil.



Notable changes are the compete absence of sugar, the fact that only healthy fats are included in the top layer, and plant foods making up the bulk of the diet rather than grains, which is how the older versions were often interpreted.

One message Nutrition Australia is pushing with this new food pyramid is  loud and clear: there is no room in a healthy diet for junk food.

“The latest health survey data shows the average Australian is getting more than a third of their daily energy intake from junk foods, while less than seven per cent of people eat enough vegetables and only half of us eat enough fruit,“ says Ms Hancock.

“We want to get the message across that for most people the simplest way to eat healthier is to cut down on junk food and sugary drinks and to eat mostly from the core food groups – especially to eat more fruit and vegetables”.

Fad diets, sugar and transfats might be out, but Nutrition Australis is keeping up with the times. Tofu, soy milk, quinoa and coconut oil are all included in the updated food pyramid.

The pyramid has been used as the key healthy eating education tool for Nutrition Australia since the 1980s.

What do you think of the new healthy eating pyramid? Does it make it easier for your to make the right choices?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. Do people really not know about healthy eating, or are they just chosing badly anyway? Knowing and doing are two different things.

  2. Yes people know what they should be eating but choose not too but it’s only them who they are hurting.

    1 REPLY
    • Di, those who eat poorly cost the whole community in the higher medical costs that their poor health outcomes produce. These higher costs flow through to us through our taxes and the availability of affordable medical services.

  3. The pyramid of “healthy eating”, during my primary school years, circa 1952, was known as the 4H groups: green & yellow leafy vegetables, seasonal fruits in abundance, lots of seafood & seaweed, more chicken & less red meat. Pan fry rather than deep frying; add herbs, spices, salt, when cooking; drink plenty of h2o; peanuts for desserts; sugar used in preserves only. We rarely saw any doctor growing up, except for vaccinations & minor injuries!

  4. If they swept all those grains off the pyramid, this wouldn’t be too bad.

  5. They do not completely leave off sugar and salt, they recommend no added salt/sugar. Fruit is fine but a bit less in this pyramid. We haven’t added salt or sugar for years in our home but occasionally have fish and chips etc. A little of what you like ever now and then is good for the soul.

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