The Australian healthy eating guide is very similar to the American and many other countries around the world. It says “enjoy a variety of foods every day” “drink plenty of water”, the proportion for breads and cereals is very high and the least being fat. I went on a search to find who is profiting from these eating habits? as it doesn’t appear so healthy, and found that it was mostly to do with food politics. But, then what do we eat?
Firstly, it never made sense to me, even whilst studying Nutrition at University, I queried the need for so much cereals and grains and so little fat. I have now been eating no grains or bread and eating more fat for approximately 1 year, but fat has not made me fat and I feel much healthier eating this way, I don’t show any signs of high cholesterol in regular blood tests, just to name a few things.
The health effects of Ketogenic and Paleo diets are well documented. Generally, switching to high fat and/or low carb shows a measurable rise in health levels, and a decrease in body fat, however “enjoying a variety of foods every day” is just that, “enjoying” at the expense of the health of our body. This invariably appears to catch up with everyone sooner or later.
Why the push on grains with the food guides? and why the push against fat? the story could get very long. I have covered some of this in my posts: Eating the healthy saturated fat! and Our love of grain where’s the gain for more info.
People who own these companies are getting rich while we get unhealthy
The 10 largest food companies in the United States control more than half of all food sales domestically and a growing percentage of packaged food and beverage products on store shelves worldwide.
- General Mills
- Associated British Foods
- Mondēlez (formerly Kraft Foods)
Food industries influence the “healthy eating guide”. If the guide was based solely on science and health, vegetables would form the foundation not cereals, breads and grains. It is interesting to note that most of the companies above are well known for their cereal and sugar based products.
Dietary guidelines need to be acceptable for these food industries. Cited from Food Politics. In other words, when governments agree with the industries, then it becomes consensus and becomes the healthy eating guide.
What about quantities?
Recommendations are vague. If you look up what to eat and what amounts, you will go down the rabbit hole, but you could learn to read food labels, which is actually beneficial to find out how much sugars and carbohydrates are in most foods. Here is a link to the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand site. Try finding the amount of food you need to eat to maintain health. It appears to be based on the theory of “moderation”, which is to avoid too much sugar, avoid too much salt, eat foods with fiber, avoid too much fat etc. Not very helpful for anyone, no wonder we are confused with so much conflicting, vague nutrition information, which changes daily in the media.
However, if you look up eatforhealth.gov.au, you can add your age, and it gives you this information:
Food group *
|Vegetables and legume/beans||5|
|Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties||6|
|Lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans||2.5|
|Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives (mostly reduced fat)||2.5|
|Approx. number of additional serves from the five food groups or fats/oils/spreads or discretionary choices**|
According to Eat for Health, I should be eating approximately 6 slices of bread per day. Last week over 2 days I ate approximately 8 slices of buckwheat bread, I actually broke out in pimples on my skin, and my energy levels fell, it took me a few days to build back up.
I have made my choice, the “healthy eating guide” is not it.