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Recommended Daily Food Intake

Most Important Messages

  • Low GI (Glycaemic Index) = High Grain.
  • Reduced carb intake (especially after 4pm if weight loss is goal as carbs = fuel. If fuel is not used by exercising, fuel turns to fat).
  • 5 vegetable and 2 fruit.
  • Portion control essential, using a variety of foods, aiming for 30 different foods per day.
  • Wholegrains, cereals and dark breads – 7 serves per day (reduce to 4 serves if weight loss goal).
  • Vegetables (includes frozen) – 5 cups fresh (i.e. raw) or 2 ½ cups cooked.
  • Fruit – 2 pieces only.
  • Dairy products – 2 to 3 serves (skimmed milk, low fat yoghurt. Be very careful with cheeses as regularly high in saturated fat.
  • Protein – 150g per day = palm sized approx. 1cm thick. Kangaroo meat is excellent with very low fat content.
  • Fish – 230g per week (at least 2 serves per week) – Atlantic salmon, mackerel, southern blue fin tuna, trevally, sardines = all excellent with high omega 3 values.
  • Fibre – 25-30g per day (example: ¾ cup wholegrain breakfast cereal = 3.5g, 2 slices wholemeal bread = 4.5g, 2 fruit = 5.5g, 2 cups mixed veg = 10g, 30g of legumes = 1.6g totalling 25.1 grams of fibre).

Portion Control

Portion control is vital. Plate size should be ½ A4 piece of paper in size. Of that, ¼ should be meat, ¼ should be pasta/rice and ½ should be non-starchy food & vegetables.

Reduce Salt Intake

This can lead to a reduction in hypertension. Choose salt free products or low salt products. Remember, “reduced salt” is not low salt. Aim for products with less than 120mg salt per 100g. Avoid adding salt to food at the table or whilst cooking. Remember, sea salt, veg salt, garlic salt and rock salt are ALL salts.

Avoid Trans Fat

Be careful with ‘Trans Fat’ – the new “bad” fat. Trans fat is found in some deep-fried foods and processed foods made with margarine or shortening. It is created by a process called hydrogenation that is used by food manufacturers to improve the stability of vegetable oils and to convert liquid oils into the solid fats needed to get the right consistency in foods such as cakes and pastries. The problem with trans-fat is that, not only does this increase your LDL (bad cholesterol) but it also has the effect of decreasing your HDL (good cholesterol).

Other highly saturated oils to watch for and avoid are coconut and palm oils.

Indicators for Problems with Diet

Waist Measurements

  • Men >94cm has increased risks >102cm has substantially increased risks.
  • Women >80cm has increased risks >88cm has substantially increased risks.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

The following table provides information relating BMI to official classification system of weight and also health risk:

Body Mass Index (BMI) Classification Risk
<18.5 Underweight Low
18.5-24.9 Healthy Average
25-29.9 Overweight Increased
30-34.9 Obesity (class 1) Moderate
35-39.9 Obesity (class 2) Severe
>40 Morbid Obesity Very Severe

Calculation for BMI

The formula to Calculate BMI is as follows:


100kg male, 1.8m tall.
100/ (1.8 x 1.8) = 100/3.24.
= 30.8 which equates to Obesity (class 1) with Moderate risk.