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Revamped pyramid targets 'risky' diets

Revamped pyramid targets 'risky' diets
Photo: Revamped pyramid targets 'risky' diets
A revamped health eating pyramid is aimed to address misleading information created by fad diets.

After shaping Australia's eating habits for almost 40 years, the healthy eating pyramid has been overhauled to fight off "risky" flavour-of-the-month diets.

Fad diets have caused people to ignore tried and true healthy eating habits for too long, Nutrition Australia executive Lucinda Hancock says.

"Anything that isn't evidenced based, like fad diets, like the Paleo diet, I would avoid," she said.

Any diet that cuts out core food groups is risky, she said.

The three food group pyramid has been expanded to five layers - the first change in 15 years - although fruit and vegies still takes top billing at the bottom.

The next biggest group in the pyramid is grain foods, then moderate amounts of dairy and lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs, and small amounts of healthy fats at the pointy end.
New to the pyramid are quinoa, soba noodles and soy milk.

Sugar has been banished and only "healthy fats" remain.

"A little bit of healthy fat is OK, but no processed foods," Mrs Hancock said.

There is also updated advice on the five core food groups people should eat every day for a healthy balanced diet.

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data show the average Australian gets more than a third of his/her daily energy intake from junk food.

Less than seven per cent eat enough vegetables and only half eat enough fruit.

Despite the changes one old adage remains: drink heaps of water, and take it easy when it comes to sugar and salt.

Enjoy herbs and spices to flavour foods without using salt, she said.


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