Saturday, May 23, 2015

What's New with Australia's Food Pyramid

Photo credit: The Australian Nutrition Foundation Inc, 3rd edition, 2015
click for a larger view
Australia has 5 official food groups however, the new food pyramid (released May 19 th 2015)  aims to promote a more plant-based diet among the population hence the reason it has 4 layers, which are:
Layer 1: Vegetables, Legumes & Fruit
Layer 2: Grains
Layer 3: Protein Foods e.g. Dairy, Alternatives, Lean Meat, Eggs, Fish, Nuts, Seeds and Legumes
Layer 4: Healthy Fats- Unrefined Oils; Cold pressed oils

✪ Key Aspects: Layer 1 is termed the foundation layer and represents the foods that should form 70% of the diet. This translates into:
Examples of 2 servings of fruit (Image: Popsugar)
    ✔ 2 servings of fruit daily
    ✔ 5 servings of vegetables daily  or
     ✔ 5 servings of  legumes daily

Examples of 5 servings of  legumes and vegetables (food Image: Healthedco)
✪ Key Aspects: Layer 2 is also apart of the  foundation layer but it focusses on whole-some grains and grain-products such as: plain oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat flour, whole-grain ready to eat cereals, whole-grain crackers, whole-grain pasta amongst others. These foods should also form 70% of the diet.

✪ Key Aspects: Layer 3 is filled with the foods that are promoted as great sources of protein, calcium, zinc, iodine and vitamin B12 but should be eaten‘moderately.’  These foods include  dairy, dairy alternatives, lean meat, eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Most noticeable: Legumes are placed in two layers. In layer 1, legumes are classed as a type of vegetables but in layer 3 it serves as vegetarian source of protein.

✪ Key Aspects: Layer 4 or the apex of the pyramid contain sources of fat that provide heart healthy benefits as they are rich in unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat); examples foods in this layer are olives, avocado, olive oil, safflower oil etc.  It is recommended, foods in this layer be included in the diet daily but in small and controlled amounts.

Most noticeable: Margarine and butter have been removed from the new pyramid due margarine being a source of trans-fats and butter being rich in saturated fat.

✪ Miscellaneous Aspects about the new food pyramid:
1) It recommends water as the primary beverage of choice.
2) It places restrictions on salt and added sugars ( e.g. table sugar, honey, maple syrup, sweetened condensed milk, molasses, syrup etc.). All the while, recommending the use of fresh, dried and ground spices and herbs to enhance the flavour and colour of meals and add health benefits.

Thank you for reading! 
Leave a ⓒⓞⓜⓜⓔⓝⓣ below.

Further reading:
1) Nutrition Australia:
2) Ea For Health:

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