Nutrition 101

Eating well doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. Understanding the building blocks of food and calculating the energy your body needs is a great place to start.

Nutrition 101

The 5 building blocks of food

Different foods contain different essential nutrients and eating a wide variety of nutritious foods is the key to building a solid foundation of health.

Fruit
2 SERVES

Fruit is the sweet, fleshy, edible part of a plant that usually contains seeds. It is generally eaten raw but some varieties can also be cooked. Choosing fruits in season provides better value and better quality. Eating seasonally also adds more variety to your diet throughout the year. Choosing different coloured fruits increases the variety of nutrients, which can enhance your health!

One serve of fruit is equal to
1 medium apple (150g)
1 cup canned apricots (150g)
2 plums (150g)
1 ½ Tbsp of sultanas (30g)
Veggies
5 SERVES

Vegetables and legumes/beans

Vegetables come from many different parts of the plant, including the leaves, roots, tubers, flowers, stems, seeds and shoots.

Legumes are the seeds of the plant and are eaten in their immature form as green peas and beans, and the mature form as dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Just like fruits, choosing different coloured vegetables increases the variety of nutrients, which can enhance your health!

One serve of vegetables is equal to
½ cup cooked green or orange (75g)
½ cup cooked lentils (75g)
1 cup leafy raw salad (75g)
½ medium potato (75g)
Meat
2-3 SERVES

Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes/beans

Traditionally, the foods from this food group are considered ‘protein rich’ and most Australians have no trouble eating enough protein each day. More importantly however, this food group also provides a wide variety of other nutrients such as: iodine, iron, zinc, vitamins, especially B12, and essential fatty acids.

One serve of meat is equal to
65g cooked lean red meat
1 cup canned chickpeas (150g)
1 small can of tuna (100g)
2 large eggs (120g)
Dairy
2-3 SERVES

Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives

A wide range of milk and yoghurt products are available with varying levels of fat. Milk can be fresh, dried, evaporated, or UHT (long life). Soy, rice or other cereal drinks and yoghurts are an alternative.

Because cheese can be high in kilojoules, saturated fat and salt, it is best to limited to 2-3 times a week.

One serve of dairy is equal to
1 cup (250ml) milk
2 slices cheddar cheese (40g)
¾ cup (200g) yoghurt
120g ricotta
Grain
3-6 SERVES

Grain (cereal foods)

Grain foods are mostly made from wheat, oats, rice, rye, barley, millet, quinoa and corn. The different grains can be cooked and eaten whole, ground into flour to make a variety of cereal foods like bread, pasta and noodles, or made into ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.

One serve of grains is equal to
1 slice bread (40g)
½ cup cooked pasta (90g)
⅔ cup breakfast cereal flakes (30g)
5 crisp breads (30g)
kg
Your daily energy requirements
0
kJ

Pregnancy
1st trimester – no additional requirement
2nd trimester – additional 1,400 kJ/day
3rd trimester– additional 1, 900 kJ/day

Breastfeeding
Additional 2,000 – 2,100 kJ/day

Nutrition 101

How many kilojoules do you need each day?

A kilojoule (like a calorie) is a measure of energy in food. We’re all different, so give this easy calculator a go to find out just how many kilojoules you need each day. It’s a brilliant start to thinking about what you eat and it only takes a moment.
Based on material provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Nutrition 101
Food fact or fiction?

Can you tell the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to food?

Take the quiz and bust some of the most common nutrition myths!

Fact
Fiction
Raw veggies are healthier than cooked ones
Fact
Fiction
Fiction: Raw veggies are healthier than cooked ones

It depends. Cooking can damage some of the nutrients in vegetables but in some cases, like when cooking tomatoes, it may actually increase nutrients.
Tip: Wash or scrub instead of peeling since lots of nutrients are close to the surface.

Fact
Fiction
Legumes & beans count as vegetables
Fact
Fiction
Fact: Legumes & beans count as vegetables

Legumes and beans count as vegetables because they are excellent sources of nutrients such as dietary fibre, folate and potassium. Legumes and beans can be dried or canned.
Tip: When using canned legumes and beans, remember to rinse before using.

Fact
Fiction
Frozen fruit & veggies can be as healthy as fresh
Fact
Fiction
Fact: Frozen fruit & veggies can be as healthy as fresh

The nutrient value of a food is retained when it is frozen. Keeping a supply of frozen vegetables means you’ll always have some on hand to add to your meals.
Tip: Check the ingredient list and choose frozen produce without added salt, sugar or fat.

Fact
Fiction
Drying fruit changes its nutrient profile
Fact
Fiction
Fact: Drying fruit changes its nutrient profile

Removing water from the fruit makes it more energy dense, which can contribute to weight gain if it is eaten in large amounts and sometimes preservatives are added.
Tip: Eat dried fruit as an occasional sweet treat.

Fact
Fiction
Fruit & vegetables are expensive
Fact
Fiction
Fiction: Fruit & vegetables are expensive

To compare fruit and vegetables to processed foods, work out the cost per kilogram. For example: Fresh bananas and apples cost $3-$5/kg vs. Processed fruit straps cost about $45/kg.
Tip: If the store label shows the cost per 100g just multiply by 10.

Fact
Fiction
Vegetables are hard to prepare
Fact
Fiction
Fiction: Vegetables are hard to prepare

Simple things like skipping the peeling, using frozen or canned vegetables can make preparation easier and optimise the nutrient content of your meal.
Tip: Keep a supply of frozen or canned vegetables to quickly and easily add to your meal.

Fact
Fiction
Eating vegetables means more washing up
Fact
Fiction
Fiction: Eating vegetables means more washing up

If the thought of more washing up puts you off, embrace the ‘one pot wonder’ and just add vegetables to whatever you’re already cooking.
Tip: Read recipe before starting to see if anything can be reused for multiple steps (like a bowl).

Fact
Fiction
Drinking fruit & veggies is better than eating them
Fact
Fiction
Fiction: Drinking fruit & veggies is better than eating them

Juices provide energy (kilojoules) but most lack dietary fibre. Remember that adults need no more than two serves of fruit a day.
Tip: It’s easy to consume a large volume of liquid quickly, so be sure to think about the volume of juice you consume.

Fact
Fiction
Kids & adults need equal serves of fruit & veggies
Fact
Fiction
Fiction: Kids & adults need equal serves of fruit & veggies

The amount of fruit and vegetables that an individual needs depends on their sex, age and whether or not a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding.
Tip: See How much do we need each day to find out how much fruit and vegetables you need.

Fact
Fiction
Fruit & veggie storage affects how long it lasts
Fact
Fiction
Fact: Fruit & veggie storage affects how long it lasts

If you’re not eating your fruit and vegetables as soon as you buy them, the way they’re stored can impact how long they last and how fresh they stay.
Tip: Check out the Brisbane Market’s fruit and vegetable guides for storage ideas.

Fact
Fiction
Fact
Fiction
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Guidelines

Daily exercise + smart eating = healthy weight

To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs

Less of the bad, more of the good

Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from the Five Food Groups every day and drink plenty of water. Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol

Healthy Choices

Becoming more aware of your food choices and the effects these choices have on your body puts you in the ‘driver’s seat’ of your own health. From serving size knowledge to food label mastery, these knowledge nuggets and food hacks add up.

Healthy Choices
What is a Serving Size?

When it comes to food, half the battle is knowing how much to eat. Take the quiz to find out how much of the good stuff you need in your daily diet.

Fact
Fiction
How much is a serve of vegetables?
Fact
1/2 cup of peas
Fiction
1 cup of peas
Correct!

1/2 cup of peas (about 75g) is a serve of vegetables

Fact
1 cup of peas
Fiction
1/2 cup of peas
Oops! Not quite...

1/2 cup of peas (about 75g) is a serve of vegetables

Fact
1 cup of peas
Fiction
1/2 cup of peas
How much is a serve of grain?
Fact
1 slice of bread
Fiction
2 slices of bread
Correct!

1 slice of bread (40g) is a serve of grain

Fact
2 slices of bread
Fiction
1 slice of bread
Oops! Not quite...

1 slice of bread (40g) is a serve of grain

Fact
2 slices of bread
Fiction
1 slice of bread
How much is a serve of cereal?
Fact
1/4 cup of bran flakes
Fiction
1/3 cup of bran flakes
Correct!

1/4 cup of bran flakes is a serve of cereal

Fact
1/3 cup of bran flakes
Fiction
1/4 cup of bran flakes
Oops! Not quite...

1/4 cup of bran flakes is a serve of cereal

Fact
1/3 cup of bran flakes
Fiction
1/4 cup of bran flakes
How much is a serve of fruit juice?
Fact
1/2 cup of fruit juice
Fiction
1 cup of fruit juice
Correct!

1/2 cup of fruit juice is a serve

Fact
1 cup of fruit juice
Fiction
1/2 cup of fruit juice
Oops! Not quite...

1/2 cup of fruit juice is a serve

Fact
1 cup of fruit juice
Fiction
1/2 cup of fruit juice
How much is a serve of egg?
Fact
2 eggs
Fiction
1 egg
Correct!

2 eggs are a serve

Fact
1 egg
Fiction
2 eggs
Oops! Not quite...

2 eggs are a serve

Fact
1 egg
Fiction
2 eggs
How much is a serve of fruit?
Fact
1 medium apple
Fiction
1/2 medium apple
Correct!

1 medium apple (about 150g) is a serve

Fact
1/2 medium apple
Fiction
1 medium apple
Oops! Not quite...

1 medium apple (about 150g) is a serve

Fact
1/2 medium apple
Fiction
1 medium apple
How much is a serve of salad?
Fact
1 cup of salad
Fiction
3/4 cup of salad
Correct!

1 cup of leafy or raw salad is a serve

Fact
3/4 cup of salad
Fiction
1 cup of salad
Oops! Not quite...

1 cup of leafy or raw salad is a serve

Fact
3/4 cup of salad
Fiction
1 cup of salad
How much is a serve of tofu?
Fact
170g of tofu
Fiction
140g of tofu
Correct!

170g of tofu is a serve

Fact
140g of tofu
Fiction
170g of tofu
Oops! Not quite...

170g of tofu is a serve

Fact
140g of tofu
Fiction
170g of tofu
How much is a serve of cheese?
Fact
2 slices of cheese
Fiction
3 slices of cheese
Correct!

2 slices of cheese is a serve

Fact
3 slices of cheese
Fiction
2 slices of cheese
Oops! Not quite...

2 slices of cheese is a serve

Fact
3 slices of cheese
Fiction
2 slices of cheese
How much is a serve of milk?
Fact
1 cup of milk
Fiction
3/4 cup of milk
Correct!

1 cup of milk is a serve

Fact
3/4 cup of milk
Fiction
1 cup of milk
Oops! Not quite...

1 cup of milk is a serve

Fact
3/4 cup of milk
Fiction
1 cup of milk
How much is a serve of lean cooked beef / pork / lamb?
Fact
65g of cooked lamb
Fiction
130g of cooked lamb
Correct!

65g of cooked lamb (about 90 -100g raw) is a serve

Fact
130g of cooked lamb
Fiction
65g of cooked lamb
Oops! Not quite...

65g of cooked lamb (about 90 -100g raw) is a serve

Fact
130g of cooked lamb
Fiction
65g of cooked lamb
Fact
Fiction
Looking for ways to eat healthier?
Find recipes Find articles
Healthy Choices

Eating healthier with the Health Star Rating system

The Health Star Rating system is a simple way to make Healthier.Happier. food choices. You’ll see the new panel on the front of many packaged grocery items. It features a rating between ½ and 5 stars. The more stars, the healthier the choice! With the Health Star Rating, you can compare similar foods’ nutritional information instantly, which makes healthy eating quicker and easier than ever before.

Find out more about the Health Star Rating system at www.healthstarrating.gov.au

health-star-QH
Healthy Choices

Demystifying food labels

Life is busy and reading food labels is often put in the ‘too hard’ shopping basket. But anyone can become a food label wiz – you just have to know what to look for. We’ve highlighted the important parts on the nutrition information panel so that you can quickly compare foods, check kilojoules and make the healthiest choice for you.

food-labels-3
Healthy Choices

Understanding the ingredients panel

Hidden ingredients
Beware! Manufacturers sometimes list fat, sugar or salt content under different names but whatever they’re called, high fat, sugar and salt content generally means the food is less healthy.

Example Ingredients label

Based on information provided by the Heart Foundation and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Healthy Choices

Healthy food hacks

Get healthier instantly with these ingredient swaps that cut kilojoules and saturated fat while bumping up the flavour, fibre and goodness.

Try swapping…
With…
Avocado on bread
Try swapping…
With…
Lean meat
Try swapping…
With…
Vegetarian pizza with less cheese
Try swapping…
With…
Boiled or poached egg
Try swapping…
With…
Raisin toast
Try swapping…
With…
Veggie sticks with dip
Try swapping…
With…
High fibre breakfast cereal
Try swapping…
With…
Dark chocolate
Try swapping…
With…
Fresh fruit
Try swapping…
With…
Diet soft drink
Try swapping…
With…
Low-fat yoghurt with berries
Try swapping…
With…
Herbs and spices

Guidelines

Daily exercise + smart eating = healthy weight

To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs

Less of the bad, more of the good

Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from the Five Food Groups every day and drink plenty of water. Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol

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