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Diet and Nutrition

Your diet and eating habits are one of the most influential factors in determining how you feel and perform daily. Diets come and go; some are good, and some are awful. It is best advised to follow a basic and overall healthy diet that is sustainable for long-term benefits.

Healthy Living Pyramid

You may know of the infamous Healthy Living Pyramid which originated in 1982.1 Over the years it has evolved through evidence-based research. However, previous models (see figure 1) that were well marketed are still known and is what many people believe still to be true. Unfortunately, although it was supported by evidence at the time, many researchers and health practitioners now believe it was greatly influenced by American manufacturers and its purpose was to increase the consumption of surplus grains, meaning good business for farmers.

Some researchers also believe that this food pyramid diet is partly to blame for the high rates of overweight and obese people in the world. In fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics found in 2018 that an estimated 1 in 4 children were overweight or obese and for adults, an estimated 2 in 3 were overweight or obese.2 These significant rates are now changing the norm and perception of many people. People with normal body mass indexes are now perceivably found to be under-weight and under-nourished.

Healthy Living
Figure 1

The Healthy Eating Pyramid was most recently updated in 2015 (see figure 2) and it depicts whole foods and minimally processed foods in the five core food groups, plus healthy fats, as the foundation of a balanced diet that is based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines.3

Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

Figure 2

Foundation Layers

The foundation layers include the three plant-based food groups: vegetables and legumes, fruits and grains. These layers make up the largest portion of the Pyramid because plant foods should make up the largest portion of our diet – around 70% of what we eat! Plant foods contain a wide variety of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are also the main source of carbohydrates and fibre in our diet.

The recommended daily fruit and vegetable servings are4:

  • 2-3-year-olds: 1 serving of fruit and 2.5 servings of vegetables
  • 4-8-year-olds: 1.5 servings of fruit and 4.5 servings of vegetables
  • Kids 9 years and older: 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables

For grains, it is recommended you choose mostly whole grains (such as brown rice, oats, and quinoa), and wholemeal/wholegrain/high cereal fibre varieties of bread, pasta, crisp breads and cereal foods.

Middle Layers

The middle layers include the milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives and the lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes food groups. Foods in the milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives group primarily provide us with calcium and protein, plus other vitamins, and minerals. This food group also refers to non-dairy options such as soy, rice or cereal milks which have at least 100mg per 100ml of added calcium. Foods in the lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes section are our main sources of protein. But each food also provides a unique mix of nutrients, including iodine, iron, zinc, B12 vitamins and healthy fats. We should aim to have a variety of meat and non-meat options from this food group.

Top Layers

The top is healthy fats because we need small amounts every day to support heart health and brain function. We should choose foods that contain healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, nut and seed oils, avocados, nuts, seeds and fish.

As for water, you need approximately 25ml per kg of body weight. For example, if a person weighs 60kg they therefore need to drink 1.5L a day and a person who weighs 80kg should drink 2L a day.

These guidelines and recommendations are designed to be simple and straightforward. However, the reality is, it is much harder than we realise to implement, and it is especially true if we are used to eating a lot of processed food and carbohydrates. Therefore, we advise, when making diet and healthy eating habit changes, it is best done one little change at a time.

For more information on a health and wellness diet, click here to watch an informative video.

If you would like further support in making changes towards your diet and nutrition, contact us on 6299 2600 or at


Dr. Cindy Lam Chiropractor

Dr. Cindy Lam

After suffering with low back pain related to her menstrual cycle as a teen, and finding incredible results and relief with Chiropractic care, Cindy knew by the age of 14 that she wanted to pursue Chiropractic to bring that same opportunity to you. Having studied at Macquarie University, she has graduated with a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science and a Master of Chiropractic.

Dr. Cindy is grateful to be surrounded by a wonderful and exceptional team, and to be working in her chosen profession. She loves seeing the changes in people’s health and quality of life because of their body’s innate ability to heal.


  1. A brief history of the Pyramid | Nutrition Australia [Internet]. Nutrition Australia. 2021. Available from:
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4364.0. 55.001‐National Health Survey First Results, Australia 2017-2018.
  3. Healthy Eating Pyramid | Nutrition Australia [Internet]. Nutrition Australia. 2021. Available from:
  4. Australian dietary guidelines. Canberra, A.C.T.: National Health and Medical Research Council; 2013.



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