Australian Fine Foods

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Dairy part of a balance diet

A balanced diet means eating a wide variety of foods from within and across the five food groups, in the amounts recommended for you. The food groups recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines are:

  • Plenty of vegetables of different types and colours, and legumes/beans
  • Fruit
  • Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
  • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat

Your diet might be unbalanced if it contains too many so-called ‘junk foods’. These are foods and drinks that contain a high number of kilojoules (or calories) but are low on nutrients such as fried potatoes, cakes, biscuits and muffins, savoury pies and pastries, chocolate, soft drinks and alcohol.

Having too many of these foods in your diet can lead to weight gain and increase your chance of developing heart disease, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies and other health problems.

By replacing some or all of these foods with more nutritious alternatives like fruit, vegetables and milk, cheese and yogurt, you can achieve a more balanced diet.

For healthy recipes, check out The Dairy Kitchen.

Most Australians are missing out on the health benefits that come with having enough milk, yogurt and cheese. It’s estimated most Australian children and 8 out of 10 Australian adults aren’t meeting the minimum recommended serves of milk, cheese and/or yogurt.

Check out the table below to find out how many serves are recommended for you.

For more recommendations for dairy foods download our Dairy Foods: How much is enough fact sheet.

A service from the dairy foods group is a cup (250ml) of milk, three-quarters of a cup (200g) yogurt, two slices (40g) of cheese, half a cup (120g) of ricotta cheese.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines advise that more than half of your intake should be reduced-fat varieties. Reduced-fat milk is not suitable as a drink for children under 2 years.

With a wide variety of dairy foods available, enjoying your recommended amount every day is easy.

Visit our Healthy Recipes section for recipes and ideas on how to include enough serves of dairy foods in your healthy eating plan.

Eating a balanced diet is easier said than done, but some simple changes can help you make a difference in your health and wellbeing. Foods like pies, chips, biscuits and chocolate can be high in kilojoules and low in important nutrients. By replacing these foods with more nutritious alternatives, you can improve your diet and your health.