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Food variety and a healthy diet

Food variety means eating a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups, in the amounts recommended. Eating many different foods helps maintain a healthy and interesting diet which provides a range of different nutrients to the body. Eating a variety of foods promotes good health and can help reduce the risk of disease.

Five major food groups:

·           1. vegetables and legumes/beans
·           2. fruit
·           3. lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans
·          4. grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fiber varieties
·          5. Milk, yogurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients. For example, key nutrients of the milk, yogurt, cheese and alternatives group include calcium and protein, while the fruit group is a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin C. These food groups make up the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

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