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The Guidelines are for use by health professionals, policy makers, educators, food manufacturers, food retailers and researchers.
The content of the Australian Dietary Guidelines applies to all healthy Australians, as well as those with common diet-related risk factors such as being overweight. They do not apply to people who need special dietary advice for a medical condition, or to the frail elderly.
Australian Health Survey (AHS)
The Australian Health Survey 2011-13 is composed of three separate surveys:
In addition to this, the AHS Survey contains a Core dataset, which is produced from questions that are common to both the NHS and NNPAS. See The Structure of the Australian Health Survey for details.
Calcium is a mineral required for the growth and maintenance of the bones and teeth, as well as the proper functioning of the muscular and cardiovascular systems
Cereal based products and dishes
The 'Cereal based products and dishes' food group contains biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, dumplings, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, and pasta and rice mixed dishes.
Cereals and cereal products
The 'Cereals and Cereal Products' food group includes grains, flours, bread and bread rolls, plain pasta, noodles and rice, and breakfast cereals.
Cholesterol is a type of fat and a component of cell membrane.
Dairy and alternatives
See Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives.
Day 1 / Day 2 intake
Day 1 intake refers to information collected from the first 24-hour dietary recall, while Day 2 refers to information from the second 24-hour recall. In the 2011-12 NNPAS, Day 1 intake information was collected from all respondents, with a second 24-hour recall (Day 2) collected from around 64% of respondents.
Nutrient intakes derived from 24-hour recall data do not represent the usual intake of a person because there is variation in day-to-day intakes. The second 24-hour recall is used to estimate and remove within-person variation in order to derive a usual nutrient intake distribution for the population. Usual nutrient intakes represent intakes over a long period of time.
Dietary energy consists of energy provided by protein, fat, carbohydrate and alcohol. Small amounts of additional energy are from dietary fibre and organic acids.
Dietary fibre is generally found in edible plants or their extracts but can also come from synthetic analogues. It refers to the fractions of the plant or analogue that are resistant to digestion and absorption, which usually undergo fermentation in the large intestine. It comes in the form of polysaccharides, oligosaccharides and lignins.
The 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines describes discretionary foods as being: “foods and drinks not necessary to provide the nutrients the body needs, but that may add variety. However, many of these are high in saturated fats, sugars, salt and/or alcohol, and are therefore described as energy dense. They can be included sometimes in small amounts by those who are physically active, but are not a necessary part of the diet”.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines Summary lists examples of discretionary choices as including: "cakes, biscuits; confectionary, chocolate; pastries, pies; ice confections, butter, cream, and spreads which contain predominantly saturated fats; potato chips, crisps and other fatty or salty snack foods; sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, sports and energy drinks and alcoholic drinks." Based on these definitions and the supporting documents which underpin the Australian Dietary Guidelines, foods reported within the NNPAS have been categorised as discretionary or non-discretionary. For more information, see the Discretionary Foods chapter of the AHS: Users' Guide, 2011-13 (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001).
Fat provides a significant amount of dietary energy and is also a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins and the source of essential fatty acids. It is the most energy dense of the macronutrients. The three fatty acid subtotals (mono-, poly-, and saturated fatty acids) do not add up to total fat because total fat includes a contribution from the non-fatty acid components.
Fats and Oils
The 'Fats and Oils' group includes butters, dairy blends, margarines, coconut and palm oil, and other fats, such as animal-based fats.
Five Food Groups
The Five Food Groups make up the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Foods are grouped by their type and contribution of nutrients to the Australian diet. See Australian Dietary Guidelines Summary.
The fruit group is one of the five food groups that make up the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. This food group includes fresh, dried and canned fruits plus fruit juices (no added sugar).
The grain (cereals) group is one of the five food groups that make up the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. This group includes foods that are made from grains such as wheat, rice, barley, millet, oats, rye, corn and quinoa.
Iodine is a nutrient essential for the production of thyroid hormones, which are essential for normal growth and development, particularly of the brain. Since October 2009, regulations have required that salt with added iodine (iodised salt) be used in all bread (except organic bread and bread mixes for making bread at home) in Australia.
Iron is an essential mineral for the oxygen carrying ability of red blood cells.
Lean meats and alternatives
See lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans.
Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans
The lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans group is one of the five food groups that make up the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. This group includes lean meats, poultry, fish eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans. Foods in this group are high in protein.
Margin of Error (MoE)
Margin of Error (MoE) describes the distance from the population value that the sample estimate is likely to be within, and is specified at a given level of confidence. Confidence levels typically used are 90%, 95% and 99%. For example, at the 95% confidence level the MoE indicates that there are about 19 chances in 20 that the estimate will differ by less than the specified MoE from the population value (the figure obtained if the entire population had been enumerated). In this publication, MoE has been provided at the 95% confidence level for proportions of persons and usual daily proportions of energy from macronutrients. For more information see the Technical Note of this publication.
The median is the middle value in a set of observations. In this release, median usual intakes for each age and sex group are shown as the 50th percentile of the range of observations simulated by the NCI method.
The mean is the sum of the value of each observation in a dataset divided by the number of observations. This is also known as the arithmetic average. In this release, mean usual intakes for each age by sex group are calculated from the distribution of usual nutrient intakes simulated by the NCI method.
Meat, poultry and game products and dishes
The 'Meat, poultry and game products and dishes' food group includes beef, sheep, pork, poultry, sausages, processed meat (e.g. salami) and mixed dishes where meat or poultry is the major component e.g. casseroles, curried sausages and chicken stir-fry.
Milk products and dishes
The 'Milk products and dishes' food group includes milk, yoghurt, cream, cheese, custards, ice cream, milk shakes, smoothies and dishes where milk is the major component e.g. cheesecake, rice pudding and creme brulee.
Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives
The milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives group is one of the five food groups that make up the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. This group includes milk, yoghurt and cheese products, plus alternative products that are calcium-enriched, such as soy and rice drinks.
Minerals are inorganic elements which are essential nutrients required in small amounts from the diet for normal growth and metabolic processes.
Moisture, as measured in the NNPAS, is the water from all food and beverage sources.
Monounsaturated fat or monounsaturated fatty acids are a type of fat predominantly found in plant-based foods, although there are exceptions.
National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS)
The National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey focused on collecting information on:
The NCI method is a mathematical statistical model developed by the National Cancer Institute of the USA. In this publication, the model has been used to estimate the distribution of long term or usual intakes for each age and sex group, using the two days of dietary intake data for all respondents in that age and sex group. For more information, see the Overview of the NCI Method chapter of the AHS: Users' Guide, 2011-13 (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001).
The 'Non-alcoholic beverages' food group includes tea, coffee, juices, cordials, soft drinks, energy drinks and water.
Nutrients are chemical substances provided by food that are used by the body to provide energy, structural materials, and biochemical cofactors to support the growth, maintenance, and repair of body tissues. Major sources of nutrients in the Australian diet are available in AHS: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.007).
The Nutrient Database used to derive energy and nutrient estimates for the 24-hour dietary recall data was developed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand. See AUSNUT 2011-13.
Nuts and seeds
Any large, oily kernel found within a shell and used in food may be regarded as a nut. Nuts are often also grouped with seeds which are botanically distinct from nuts. These may include cape seed, caraway, chia, flaxseed, linseed, passionfruit, poppy seed, pepita or pumpkin seed, sesame seed and sunflower seed.
Nuts and seeds contribute to two ADG food groups – lean meats and alternatives as well as unsaturated spreads and oils.
Plain water includes bottled water and tap water with no flavourings.
Polyunsaturated fat or polyunsaturated fatty acids are a type of fat predominantly found in plant-based foods, although there are exceptions. Linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, and other polyunsaturated fatty acids are included in the polyunsaturated fatty acid total.
Processed meats are meats that have been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking other processes to enhance the flavour or improve preservation. Examples of processed meats are: sausages, ham, bacon and salami. All processed meats have been flagged as ‘discretionary’ for this publication.
Protein supplies essential amino acids and is also a source of energy. Protein can be supplied from animal or vegetable matter, though individual vegetable proteins do not contain all the essential amino acids required by the body – they may be limited in one of these essential amino acids.
Recommended daily serves
The National Health and Medical Research Council 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a minimum number of serves of foods from each of the five food groups, depending on age and sex. This is the recommended daily consumption for foods from the five food groups.
Refined grains are grains (cereals) that no longer have the outer layer of the grain due to processing. Refined grain foods have lower fibre content than wholegrain foods.
Saturated fat or saturated fatty acids are a type of fat predominantly found in animal-based foods, although there are exceptions. Saturated fat is the total of all saturated fatty acids, that is, all fatty acids without any double bonds.
Sodium is a mineral which occurs in a number of different forms but is generally consumed as sodium chloride (commonly known as 'salt').
See Australian Dietary Guidelines
Under-reporting refers to the tendency (bias) of respondents to underestimate their food intake in self-reported dietary surveys. It includes actual changes in foods eaten because people know they will be asked about them, and misrepresentation (deliberate, unconscious or accidental), for example to make their diets appear more ‘healthy’ or be quicker to report. For more information see Under-reporting in the AHS: Nutrition First Results – Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.007).
Usual intakes represent food and nutrient intake over a long period of time. For a single person, dietary intake varies day-to-day. A single 24-hour dietary recall does not represent the usual, or long term, intake of a person because of this variation. In the 2011-12 NNPAS, all respondents were asked for follow-up contact phone details in order to conduct a second 24-hour recall over the phone at least eight days later. A second 24-hour recall was collected from 64% of respondents. The second 24-hour recalls were used to estimate and remove within-person variation in order to derive a usual nutrient intake distribution for the population.
Vegetables and legumes/beans
The vegetables and legumes/beans group is one of the five food groups that make up the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. There are a wide variety of vegetables but they can be generally grouped into green and brassica vegetables, orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, other vegetables and legumes as vegetables.
Vegetable products and dishes
The 'Vegetable products and dishes' food group includes vegetables and dishes where vegetables are the major component, for example salad or vegetable casserole.
Vitamins are organic compounds required in small amounts from the diet for normal growth and metabolic processes.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and the formation of blood. Almost all vitamin B12 comes from animal foods, such as meat and dairy products, although some is added to some plant-based foods such as vegetarian meat replacements.
Wholegrain foods contain the entire three layers of the grain. Wholegrains provide more fibre, vitamins and minerals than refined grains.
Wholegrain or high fibre
Wholegrain or higher fibre cereals/grains include all wholegrain or higher fibre breads, grains, oats, breakfast cereal flakes, savoury crackers/crispbreads, crumpets, English muffins and scones and flour. See AUSNUT 2011-13.
Zinc is a mineral required for the function of many enzymes and has a role in protein and DNA synthesis.
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