What is a balanced diet?
A balanced diet means eating a wide variety of foods from within and across the five food groups, in the amounts recommended for you. The food groups recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines are:
Plenty of vegetables of different types and colours, and legumes/beans
- 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
Your diet might be unbalanced if it contains too many so-called ‘junk foods’. These are foods and drinks that contain a high number of kilojoules (or calories) but are low on nutrients such as fried potatoes, cakes, biscuits and muffins, savoury pies and pastries, chocolate, soft drinks and alcohol.
Having too many of these foods in your diet can lead to weight gain and increase your chance of developing heart disease, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies and other health problems.
By replacing some or all of these foods with more nutritious alternatives like fruit, vegetables and milk, cheese and yogurt, you can achieve a more balanced diet.
For healthy recipes, check out The Dairy Kitchen.