5 Food Groups
The key to healthy eating is to enjoy a variety of nutritious foods from each of the 5 food groups. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating displays the 5 food groups on a plate, in the proportion that you should be eating them throughout your day. If you eat a variety of foods from each of these groups, your body will receive all the nutrients and vitamins it needs to function.
The five food groups are:
- Dairy and/or their alternatives: the foods in this group are excellent sources of calcium, which is essential for strong and healthy bones. Not many other foods in our diet contain as much calcium as these foods.
- Fruit: fruit provides vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and many phytonutrients (nutrients naturally present in plants), that help your body stay healthy.
- Grain (cereal) foods: always choose wholegrain and/or high fibre varieties of bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, etc. Refined grain products (such as cakes or biscuits) can be high in added sugar, fat and sodium.
- Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans: our bodies use the protein we eat to make specialised chemicals such as haemoglobin and adrenalin. Protein also builds, maintains, and repairs the tissues in our body. Muscles and organs (such as your heart) are primarily made of protein.
- Vegetables and legumes/beans: vegetables should make up a large part of your daily food intake and should be encouraged at every meal (including snack times). They provide vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and phytonutrients (nutrients naturally present in plants) to help your body stay healthy.
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