Healthy Food Groups Biography
Some foods do not fit into the five food groups because they are not necessary for a healthy diet. These foods are called ‘discretionary choices’ and they should only be eaten occasionally. They tend to be too high in either energy (kilojoules), saturated fat, added sugars, added salt or alcohol, and have low levels of important nutrients like fibre.
Examples of ‘discretionary choices’ or occasional foods are:
sweet biscuits, cakes, desserts and pastries
processed meats and fattier/salty sausages, savoury pastries and pies, commercial burgers with a high fat and/or salt content
sweetened condensed milk
ice cream and other ice confections
confectionary and chocolate
commercially fried foods
potato chips, crisps and other fatty and/or salty snack foods including some savoury biscuits
cream, butter and spreads which are high in saturated fats
sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, sports and energy drinks and alcoholic drinks.
Small allowance for healthy fats
Unsaturated fats are an important part of a healthy diet. The two main types of unsaturated fats are monounsaturated fats (found in olive and canola oil, avocados, cashews and almonds) and polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 fats (found in oily fish) and omega-6 fats (found in safflower and soybean oil and Brazil nuts). These fats can help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels when they replace saturated fats in the diet.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines include a small allowance for healthy fats each day (around 1–2 tablespoons for adults and less for children). The best way to include healthy fats in your diet is to replace saturated fat that you may currently be eating (such as butter and cream) with a healthier, unsaturated fat option (such as polyunsaturated margarine or olive oil).
Enough calories to be satisfying, but not so many that the snack becomes a meal.
Less fat and saturated fat than other similar snacks.
Whole grain and fiber, protein, and/or other nutrients that give them staying power.
Here are my picks for healthier supermarket snacks, whether you feel like having something sweet, something cool and creamy, something crunchy, or something hot and filling.
Healthy Snacks: Something Sweet
My five sweet snack choices include a higher-fiber pastry, creamy pudding, and three higher-fiber cookies.
Fat-Free Sugar-Free Instant Pudding (made with nonfat or 1% milk), various brands, 1.4-ounce box makes 2 cups. Per 1/2-cup serving made with nonfat milk: 80 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 6 g protein, less than 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar (from the natural sugar in milk).
Fiber One Bars (variousflavors, such as Blueberry), 6 pastries per box. Each pastry has 190 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 4 g protein, 5 g fiber, 15 g sugar
Nabisco 100% Whole Grain Fig Newtons, 1 pound bag. Fig Newtons have gone whole grain! Two cookies have 110 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugar (some of which comes from the figs).
South Beach Living Fiber Fit Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies, 6 individual packs per 5.1 ounce box. Among the ingredients in South Beach cookie packs are whole-grain wheat flour, high-oleic canola oil, and oat fiber. The sweeteners include sugar, maltitol (a sugar alcohol), sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium. Each pack of the double chocolate chunk variety has 100 calories, 5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar (2 g sugar alcohol).
South Beach Living Fiber Fit Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies, 6 packs per 5.1 ounce box. Each pack has 100 calories, 5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar (2 g sugar alcohol).
Good or excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients
High in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds, such as vitamins A and E and beta carotene
May help reduce risk of heart disease and other health conditions
Low in calorie density, meaning you get a larger portion size with a fewer number of calories
Find out more about these health foods and how easy it is to include them in your diet.
These tear-shaped nuts are packed with nutrients — fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron and calcium. In fact, one serving (about seven almonds) has more calcium than any other type of nut — 22 milligrams. One serving also provides almost 15 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin E. And they're good for your heart. Most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated fat — a healthier type of fat that may help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Apples are a good source of soluble fiber, which can lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Fresh apples are also a good source of vitamin C — an antioxidant that protects your body's cells from damage. Vitamin C also helps form the connective tissue collagen, keeps your capillaries and other blood vessels healthy, and aids in the absorption of iron
Scientists have shown that blueberries are loaded with compounds (phytonutrients) that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Blueberries may also improve short-term memory and promote healthy aging. Blueberries are a low-calorie source of fiber and vitamin C — 3/4 cup of fresh blueberries has 2.7 grams of fiber and 10.8 milligrams of vitamin C.
Besides being a good source of folate, broccoli also contains phytonutrients. Broccoli is also an excellent source of vitamin C — an antioxidant that protects your body's cells from damage. It is also an excellent source of vitamin A and is linked to preserving eye health.