The not so healthy ‘Australian Guide to Healthy Eating’

The Australian government releases the guidelines for how we’re supposed to be eating to live a long and healthy life.   The guide has some great suggestions of what to include in the standard Australian diet and the ratios are getting better, but still so very far from what I believe is truly healthy.

What confuses me is whether this guide is focusing on ‘health’ or just trying to please the masses.   I’m fine with the latter, but what I’m not fine with is releasing information that it is ok to eat unhealthy food, just as long as it is in moderation.

More than 60% of the Australian population is overweight!  Something is not right!

So lets highlight a few things from the “Guide”:

– What is the health benefit of canola oil?    (made from rape seeds but it wouldn’t be a great name if taken from the actual seed from which is was derived.  So it was a clever marketing name combining Canada and Oil).  Thing is almost all canola oil is genetically modified and processed to the point it is so rancid that deodorisers are added to mask the smell. Erucic acid constitutes 40-50% and ingestion of large amounts have been linked to heart damage – it’s toxic to humans so why even consider it when there are so many better options?.   Look it up and make up your own mind.

– Margarine instead of butter (grass fed of course)?  Why?  Butter is full of vitamins and nutritional content as opposed to a container with something manufactured to appear the colour yellow – butter has 3 ingredients:  cream, water, salt (although I have unsalted butter).  A well known Australian brand contains : 65% vegetable oil (52% canola oil and sunflower oil), water, salt, emulsifiers, preservative 202, food acid (lactic), milk solids, maltodextrin, natural colour, vitamins A & D, flavour – hmm sounds great!  Although Australia differs in that most soft margarines have the lowest trans fat content in the world it’s just not natural so just choose Grass fed butter.

– Fat reduced dairy.  Now I’m not going to go on about dairy as some are more tolerable than others, but it misses the fundamental ingredient that makes this such an error.  Most marketed low fat products are high in sugar content to give it flavour.  You’re much better off having full fat if at all.

– Soft drinks (or soda in other parts of the world) provide absolutely no nutritional benefit whatsoever.  How can this be an inclusion in a ‘health guide’?

– One of the greatest sources of energy and fat is from coconut oil – cold pressed unsweetened virgin coconut oil, yet it doesn’t get a mention in the graph, but it does get a cameo appearance under saturated fats to avoid!  The problem is fat has been given a bad name, but the truth is only certain types of fat should be avoided.

Although there is mention of meats and veggies, there is no guideline on the sources and quality of the food.   Grass-fed beef is far superior in nutritional content and not to mention flavour than the large supermarket sold meats.   Don’t be fooled by the claim of these stores that their beef is grass fed….the question to ask ‘is the cow roaming free, grass fed AND grass finished from grass in the ground, out in the pastures?’.  I’m not a vegetarian as I love meat too much, but there is a distinct quality in grass fed and grass finished beef.

As much as the guideline seems to be giving direction on what most people are able to achieve every day, it is just irresponsible to say that it is ok to eat some of the foods that are listed in the chart.

Stop sitting on the fence and give a guideline that is the truth.  If you want a guideline that pleases the masses, then call it something else.   The Australian Guide on How to have an Obese Epidemic’….because whatever guidelines have been given, is not working.

aus health guide

If you want to see more information check out http://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/

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About onehealthyman

A passionate fitness and health nut stuck in a corporate world, and loving it. Born in '74 and finding a new way of eating, living and loving life with an amazing family. I've been training in Muay Thai, weights and anything fitness for over 20 years.....now I found a whole new world of healthy eating and hopefully I can share even something with one person that makes a difference to their life.
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2 Responses to The not so healthy ‘Australian Guide to Healthy Eating’

  1. Claire says:

    Brilliant article, so informative!

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