The Australian Dietary Guidelines (the Guidelines) and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating provide up-to-date advice about the amounts and kinds of foods that we need to eat for health and wellbeing. The recommendations are based on scientific evidence, developed after looking at good quality research. By following the dietary patterns recommended in the Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, we will get enough of the nutrients essential for good health and also help reduce our risk of chronic health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity. We may also feel better, look better, enjoy life more and live longer! Our dietary patterns are made up of foods and drinks, not simply nutrients – it’s the types and amounts of the foods and drinks that we consume regularly that really matter for our health.
However, there are many different ways to include foods to produce dietary patterns that suit different cultural, economic, social and culinary preferences, that deliver health benefits. Many Australians enjoy flexible dietary patterns that include different ways of healthy eating. But most of us need to choose foods and drinks more wisely to help protect our health. The Australian Dietary Guidelines make this easier (see page 5) by helping us choose wisely from the wide range of foods and drinks now available in Australia. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (see page 4) summarises this information pictorially. Careful dietary choices must be made so we can all enjoy good health and wellbeing. Too many of us are overweight, have high blood pressure or are facing chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity.