The new food pyramid

For the first time in 15 years, Nutrition Australia has presented the new food pyramid in response to rising fad diets.

Why we love the new food pyramid
For the first time in 15 years, Nutrition Australia has presented the new food pyramid in response to rising fad diets. Nutrition Australia says, “The new pyramid cuts through misleading information and spells out the foods we should be eating regularly and what foods to avoid.”

The new pyramid follows the recent National Health Survey which showed only 7 percent of Australians are consuming enough vegetables throughout the day and only 50 percent are eating enough fruit.

The updated recommendations help make healthy eating choices easier. Weight Watchers Good Health Guidelines recommends at least 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruits per day.

eating pyramid The major changes to the new food pyramid include:

Less carbohydrates
The old food pyramid’s bottom level (eat more of) included grains, cereals, vegetables and fruits all mixed together.

In the new version, vegetables take up the majority of the bottom level along with some fruits. While wholegrain carbohydrates are nutrient rich, they are also energy dense. With our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, we need fewer serves of these foods, which is reflected in the new pyramid.

It is also great to see wholegrain carbohydrate options featured predominantly, although some refined examples, such as cous cous, are included to cater for Australia's multicultural tastes.

More dairy products
Dairy and milk products are now clearly separated from the meats to show the importance of dairy intake. Dairy foods are a source of calcium which is important for healthy bones and teeth. Weight Watchers Good Health Guidelines recommends at least 2 serves of dairy per day and 3 if you are a breast feeding mum.

Junk and sugars removed
Refined foods have been removed from the pyramid completely. Australians misunderstood that small amounts of these foods could be consumed every day. Based on the results from the Health Survey, 35 percent of the average Australian energy intake comes from junk foods which is leading to our growing obesity crisis so it’s a smart move to remove ‘junk foods’.

Addition of herbs and spices
Herbs and spices have been incorporated into the food pyramid to encourage home cooked fresh meals that add flavour using natural ingredients. Weight Watchers recipes are filled with fresh and dried herbs and spices that offer extra flavour that you don't need to track, and best of all, most of our fresh herbs and spices are Filling & Healthy foods.

Move more
The 'move more' message has been removed to allow sole focus on food and making better food choices. But that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be a priority. At Weight Watchers, we encourage fitness as a core part of the Program for health and weight management. We launched our Fitness Hub to make exercise an even more natural part of the Weight Watchers lifestyle.

Our verdict?
Is the new food pyramid going to kill fad diets? We don’t think so! Today’s social media is a strong tool that’s used to send out misguided messages by unqualified people. The great news is that this new food pyramid puts emphasis on the importance of a nutritionally balanced diet that promotes adequate choices from all core food groups.

The ongoing success of the Weight Watchers Program is attributable to its flexible approach to weight loss and lifestyle change. Based on the guiding principles of healthy eating, exercise, behaviour change, and support; the program can be undertaken in a multitude of convenient ways that are supported by the new food pyramid.

For more information, visit Nutrition Australia