Discretionary Foods

Many people are aware that foods high in sugar, salt and fat are not good for the body. It is confusing to understand just how much of these “extra” foods is considered ok to eat. On a daily basis, it is ideal for most Australians to be consuming 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables. In terms of the “extra” foods (those high in salt, sugar and saturated/trans fats), there are many different serves allowed for the different age groups and life stages. Generally these “extra” serves range from no serves to around two serves depending on life stage and activity level (0-2 serves per day).

Although these foods are not required as part of a balanced diet, many people do like to indulge on them. It is important that we consume these foods within the recommended serving size and amount per day. It is when we regularly consume these foods and exceed the ideal daily serves, that causes us to gain weight and have adverse health effects.

The following table lists some discretionary food items and the amount of each item that is considered to be one serve (which is about 600kj).

Example Serves of Discretionary “Extra” Foods that provide around 600kj of energy

Ice Cream 2 Scoops (75g)
Condensed Milk 1/4 Cup
Salami (and other processed meat) 2 Slices (50-60g)
Sausages 1 1/2 Thick or 2 Thin Sausages
Salty Biscuits 1 Small Individual Packet (30g)
Sweet Biscuits 2-3 Biscuits
Doughnut 1 Doughnut (40g)
Cake/Muffin 1 Slice (40g)
Confectionary 5-6 Small Lollies (40g)
Jam/Honey 2 Tablespoons (60g)
Chocolate 1/2 Small Bar (25g)
Cream 2 Tablespoons (40g)
Butter/Hard Margarine 1 Tablespoon (20g)
Soft Drink 1 Can (375mL)
Meat Pie/Pastie 1/3 Pie/Pastie (60g)
Fried Hot Chips 12 Chips (60g)
Alcohol 200mL Wine / 60mL Spirits / 600mL  Light Beer / 400mL  Regular Beer

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