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News & Events

Enjoying a wide range of healthy foods

There is increasing evidence of the health benefits that are associated with consuming a variety of nutritious foods in the right amounts.

Enjoying a wide range of healthy foods

What are the five food groups?

Unfortunately, there is no single food (except for breast milk) that can provide all nutrients in the quantity needed for good health. As a result, we need to eat a variety of foods from each of the five food groups.

The five food groups are:

  • Vegetables, legumes and beans
  • Fruit
  • Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds
  • Grain foods (mostly wholemeal variety)
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese or alternatives

What are the benefits of eating a wide range of foods?

There is increasing evidence of the health benefits that are associated with consuming a variety of nutritious foods in the right amounts. These benefits include a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, as well as improved quality of life in older adults.

One of the ways a wide-ranging diet can improve quality of life and survival is through maximising the availability of nutrients for our body to absorb. Unfortunately, not all the food that we consume is absorbed by the body – some of it leaves our bodies when we go to the toilet. A diet with a wide range of healthy foods can improve the absorption, metabolism and retention of nutrients! This is because different foods have different chemical properties that can complement each other to improve the way our body extracts nutrients.

How much of each food group should I eat?

How much you eat from each food group depends on your age, gender and activity levels. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating outlines how many servings you and your family need each day and the standard serve sizes for food and drinks. Here are some links to guide how much of each food group you should eat:

What’s in fruit and vegetables?

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of our daily diets. This is because the contain many vitamins and minerals that are good for health. These include vitamin A, C and E, magnesium, zinc and folic acid to name a few. There are also a great source of dietary fibre and are low in fat, salt and sugar. They are truly natures gift to us!

The Australia’s Health 2018 report found that 96% of adults an 99% of children do not eat the recommended daily intake of 5 serves of vegetables a day. So, if you’re ever questioning whether you have had enough vegies, the chances are you probably need to eat some more!

Why are fruits and vegetables good for me?

Vegetables, legumes, beans and fruit are protective against a wide range of diseases. They have been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer and even improve your eye health. Since they are also low in calories, so you can eat lots without the risk of putting on extra weight!

How can I incorporate more fruit and vegetables into my diet?

Change things up! Everybody likes a little bit of variety in their lives and by buying and serving different types of fruits and vegetables we can increase how much we eat. Next time you go shopping try to:

  • Eat with the seasons – this is nature’s way of making sure our bodies get a good mix of nutrients, and it is also usually much cheaper!
  • Try something new – try new recipes and buy new fruits and vegetables to keep things interesting
  • Let the colours guide you – get different combinations of nutrients by putting a rainbow of colours on your plate. This will also make it more appealing to the kids!

Different fruits and vegetables according to season:

Here’s a link to remind you all the different fruits and vegetables that are in season! Make sure you bookmark it and have a look at the start of each season. It will save you money and increase your fruit and vegetable intake!


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