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A healthy diet is an important factor in maintaining our health and wellbeing. As well as being a key component of weight management, a healthy diet assists in preventing chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. Health conditions associated with diet can also be influenced by environmental, behavioural, biological, societal and genetic factors.
Australia has national guidelines that recommend the amount and types of foods we should eat to promote health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of chronic disease. The Australian Dietary Guidelines were developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council and are based on scientific evidence and expert opinion . The guidelines recommend:
Australia also has a set of Nutrient Reference Values that provide recommended levels of intake of specific nutrients to meet the needs of healthy individuals . The Nutrient Reference Values include Estimated Average Requirements, which can be used to estimate the prevalence of inadequate intakes in the population, and Upper Levels of Intake, which can be used to estimate the proportion of the population at risk of adverse effects from excessive intake.
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