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Healthy Eating Recommendations

Discover healthy eating recommendations to help you lose weight and improve your health status.

There are three categories of diet interventions for weight loss described in terms of their degree of energy restriction (reduced energy, low energy, very low energy). However, there is a vast range of dietary interventions that can be used to achieve different energy restriction targets. Understanding healthy eating recommendations and some of the more common dietary options and their evidence, or lack thereof, is important to help patients make informed decisions and to support them in their weight loss and weight maintenance efforts.

Healthy Eating Recommendations

As a starting point, it is important to know the overall recommendations for healthy eating as these can be incorporated into reduced energy or low energy diets as well as used for weight maintenance once a weight loss target has been achieved. The Australian Dietary Guidelines emphasize eating a wide variety of nutritious foods. The food pyramid no longer exists. Instead, the dietary guidelines are based on 5 key principles which are also echoed in the healthy eating recommendations provided by the USA3, Canada4 and UK5.

Image of five food groups and associated foods to eat from Australian Guide to Healthy Eating Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Source:

Chart of 5 Australian Dietary Guidelines from Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Source:

Download and save any relevant resources to share with your future patients

The Australian Dietary Guidelines6 can be downloaded here. These same principles also form the recommendations provided in the UK’s Eatwell Guide5 which can be downloaded here, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans3 which can be downloaded here, and Canada’s Dietary Guidelines for Health Professionals and Policy Makers4 which can be downloaded here.

The Canadian guidelines4 also highlight some behavioural strategies including

  • Being mindful of your eating habits
Taking time to eat
  • Noticing when you’re hungry and when you’re full
  • Cook more often
Planning meals Involving others in meal planning and preparation
  • Enjoy your food
Acknowledge that culture and food traditions can be a part of heathy eating
  • Eat meals with others

We highly recommend you download and save some of these resources, so that you can share them with your patients to support their healthy eating, or weight maintenance.

This article is from the free online

EduWeight: Weight Management for Adult Patients with Chronic Disease

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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