Australian Guide to Healthy Eating 1993

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Friday, 28 November 2008.

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating 1993

THIS FOOD GUIDE IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW AS AT DEC 2011. The Australian Guide for Healthy Eating (AGHE) is a food selection guide that provides healthy eating guidance for Australians four years and over.  It shows the types and amounts of foods that need to be eaten each day to obtain the nutrients essential for good health and well-being as well as for normal growth in children. It's used as the basis for all sorts of dietary recommendations so it's well worth reading.



Until the early 1990s, the Five Food Groups were Australia's food selection guide and dated back to the 1940's. They were reviewed as a result of increasing concern over the diseases of poor food consumption (heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoporosis and tooth decay).

Documents used as the basis for the development of the AGHE were:

  • Dietary guidelines for Australians
  • Dietary guidelines for children and adolescents
  • Recommended dietary intakes for use in Australia
  • The role of polyunsaturated fats in the Australian diet.

The 5 food groups in the AGHE:

 [AGHE_2003_poster] The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating food “plate” showed you graphically the recommended proportion of each food group to be eaten. The surface are of the plate "wedges"were based on the minimum serves of the food groups:

  • bread, cereal, rice, pasta and noodles group -  seven serves
  • fruit - two serves
  • vegetables and legumes- five serves
  • milk, yoghurt and cheese - two serves
  • meat, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts and legumes - two serves (however, normally one serve is recommended depending on the population group).

Remember, however, that the number of serves differs according to age, gender and whether or not you are pregnant or breastfeeding.




1. Bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles

Foods in this group come from grains like wheat, oats, rice, rye, barley, millet and corn. These grains can be eaten whole, made into breakfast cereals or ground into flour to make grain foods like bread, pasta and noodles.

This food group is rich in the B vitamins folate, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. It also provides carbohydrate and fibre - wholemeal varieties are richer in fibre than refined.

Each day, you need 3 to 12 serves.

One serve means:

2. Vegetables, legumes

Vegetables come from many different parts of the plant including the leaves, root, tubers, flowers, stems, seeds and shoots. Legumes are the seeds of plants from the Legumiosae family. They may be eaten in the immature form as green peas and beans or in the mature form as dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas.

Foods in this group are good sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and carbohydrate.

Each day, you need 2 to 9 serves.

One serve means:

3. Fruit

Formed from the flower of the plant, fruit contains the seeds. The sweetness of fruit is due to the presence of its fruit sugars. Foods in this group are a good source of vitamins especially vitamin C and the B vitamin folate.

Each day, you need 1 to 5 serves.

One serve means:

4. Milk, yoghurt, cheese

The important foods from this group are milk, yoghurt and cheese. Choices within this food group can be made on a variety of factors, including fat content.This food group is an excellent source of calcium.

Each day you need from 2 to 5 serves.

One serve is:

5. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes

This group is made up of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and nut pastes, legumes and seeds such as sunflower and sesame. This food group is a good source of protein, niacin and vitamin B12 and a particularly good source of the minerals iron and zinc.

Each day, you need from ½ to 2 serves.

One serve means:

Plus Extra foods

Foods that don't fit into the above five food groups are not essential to the body's needs. These ‘extra' foods add to the enjoyment of a healthy diet but can also contribute large amounts of kilojoules (Calories). For this reason not everybody needs extra foods every day.

Extra foods include:

To eat a healthy diet


Need more information?

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