By Rachel Hawkins, Dietitian & Nutritionist
The world is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of good nutrition for health. But what country has the healthiest diet? Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Nutritionist, Rachel Hawkins, compares the dietary guidelines of ten popular countries to determine who will come out on top!
Good nutrition is important for all aspects of health. A healthy diet helps to protect against malnutrition and the risk of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.1 But establishing dietary guidelines is no easy task. While the World Health Organization (WHO) makes global dietary recommendations, it is up to each country to modify these to make them suitable for their population.
Why? Because people that live in different countries lead different lifestyles that involve different diets; from the food that is accessible, to the way it is prepared, and even the pattern by which it is consumed.
DIETARY GUIDELINES OF TEN COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD
We summarize the dietary guidelines of ten countries (including when they were last reviewed) below.
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating uses a plate model to visually represent what proportion of the five food groups should be eaten each day. The food groups included on this plate are grain (cereal) foods; vegetables, legumes, and beans; fruits; lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds; and dairy products (mostly reduced fat) and/or dairy alternatives.2,3
Key Messages from dietary guidelines:2,3
- To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs
- Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from the aforementioned five food groups every day
- Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars, and alcohol
- Replace high-fat foods which contain predominately saturated fats such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut, and palm oil with foods that contain predominantly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butter/pastes, and avocado.
- Encourage, support, and promote breastfeeding
- Care for your food; prepare and store it safely
- Drink plenty of water
Last reviewed? 2013