Key points
  • The Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADGs) are a framework for healthy eating among the general population.
  • There are five principal recommendations in the current Australian Dietary Guidelines.
  • The guidelines are intended for all healthy Australians, not the frail elderly or those who need special dietary advice for a medical condition.
  • The current guidelines are being reviewed by the National Health and Medical Research Council, with new guidelines expected to be released in 2024.
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The Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADGs) are a framework for healthy eating among the general population. They provide population-level guidance on a healthy diet.

Released in 2013, the current ADGs were developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NRMRC), along with other leading nutrition experts and the Australian Government.

They are based on several key sources of evidence, including:

  • previous dietary guidelines and supporting documentation
  • the evidence and scientific data that was available at the time
  • the Food Modelling System (Foundation Diets and Total Diets)
  • the Australian Nutrient Reference Values
  • key reports from international organisations and governments (including their dietary guidelines).

The 2013 ADGs are currently under review by the NHMRC, with new guidelines expected to be released in 2024. Discover more about the ADGs review.

What are the Australian Dietary Guidelines?

At a population level, the ADGs offer an approach to eating – outlining the types of foods, food groups and dietary patterns – to promote health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of diet-related conditions and chronic diseases.

The five guidelines are:

  1. to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs
  2. drink plenty of water and enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups (vegetables, fruit, grains/cereals, meats/alternative and dairy/alternatives) every day
  3. limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol
  4. encourage, support and promote breastfeeding
  5. care for your food; prepare and store it safely.

Discover more about the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Who should use the Australian Dietary Guidelines?

The ADGs are for use by:

  • health professionals
  • policy makers
  • educators
  • food manufacturers
  • food retailers
  • researchers.

They use the guidelines to find ways to help Australians eat healthy diets.

The ADGs are intended as a framework for healthy eating among the general population. They are not meant for sick people (including those who need specific dietary advice for a medical condition) or the frail elderly.

The ADGs may not be exactly right or ‘spot on’ for every individual, as we’re all unique – with differing health challenges, goals, and lifestyles. This is where tailored nutrition advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) comes in.

When to see a dietitian

It's recommended to see a dietitian if you:

  • need nutrition advice to help manage a chronic illness or health condition
  • are elderly and are worried about whether you are meeting your nutrition needs
  • would like personalised nutrition advice to address your needs
  • want support from a professional who'll help you reach your long-term health goals.

Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) are university-trained nutrition experts. They can help you with personalised, easy-to-follow and evidence-based advice.

APDs are Australia's most trusted dietetics professionals.

Find a dietitian

Top tips
  • Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups every day.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Limit the amount of food you eat that contains saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol.
  • Protect, support and promote breastfeeding.
  • Be food safety aware.