The five food groups

Five food group image

The food and drink we consume every day has an important influence on overall health and wellbeing, however most Australians are not consuming enough of the recommended foods from the five food groups. There is strong evidence in favour of a nutritious diet for preventing chronic disease and the evidence for consuming foods from the five food groups is outlined in the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines.1

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods from the following five food groups every day to receive a range of health benefits and achieve a balanced diet:

• Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives (mostly reduced-fat).

• Fruit

• Grain (cereal) foods (mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties)

• Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans

• Vegetables and legumes/beans.2




The five food groups are grouped together based on the nutrients they provide (for example, the milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives (mostly reduced-fat) food group provides calcium and protein). The individual foods in each food group vary in the amount of nutrients they provide so in order to achieve sufficient nutrients for health, a variety of foods from each group should be eaten.

Listen

Watch Jean Hailes talk about how to get the balance right with the five food groups and good nutrition.




1 National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian Dietary Guidelines, Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2013.

2 National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian Dietary Guidelines, Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2013.