The Australian Dietary Guidelines

The Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG) are a framework for healthy eating among the general population. That is, they provide population-level guidance on a healthy diet.

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

They are based on a number of key sources of evidence, including previous dietary guidelines and supporting documentation, an Evidence Report (the body of evidence and scientific data available at the time), the Food Modelling System (Foundation Diets and Total Diets), the Australian Nutrient Reference Values, and key reports from organisations and governments across the globe (including the Dietary Guidelines of other countries).

What are the Australian Dietary Guidelines?

At a population level, the Dietary Guidelines 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 ADG 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

Who should use the Guidelines?

The ADG are for use by health professionals, policy makers, educators, food manufacturers, food retailers and researchers, so they can find ways to help Australians eat healthy diets.

As mentioned above, the Guidelines are intended as a framework for healthy eating among the general population. They are not intended for sick people (including those who need specific dietary advice for a medical condition) or the frail elderly.

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

For more information, visit the Eat for Health website, and for personalised nutrition advice and support, contact an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD).  

Last updated April 2018, by DA staff.