How do the Xyris food groups fit with the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating?

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The Xyris food groups are broadly compatible with the five food groups (plus additional categories) of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE). However, there are are few important differences.

Discretionary choices and food components

In the Xyris food groups, some food components are treated as groups in their own right, namely:

  • Oil equivalents - Fats naturally occurring in nuts, seeds, avocado, seafoods, and non hydrogenated vegetable oils; excludes palm oil and coconut oil
  • Solid fat equivalents - Fats naturally occurring in meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fully or partially hydrogenated oils, shortening, palm oil and coconut oil
  • Added sugars
  • Alcoholic drinks

As a result, the discretionary choices category used in the AGHE is not used in the Xyris groups.

Instead, all composite foods, including those that would be discretionary items such as pizzas, pastries, commercial burgers, are broken into their ingredients/components and assigned to 'groups' accordingly.

The resulting analysis exposes serves of solid fat equivalents, added sugars, refined grains, etc. For example, a meat pie which would be considered a discretionary choice in the AGHE, in the Xyris system would instead contribute serves of meat, refined grains, solid fats, and so on.

The approach used is similar to that in the USDA Food Patterns Equivalents Database

Other differences

Serve sizes for the food groups are similar to those in the AGHE, but not the same - see What are the serve sizes for the Xyris food groups?

More minor differences to the AGHE include:

  • The fruit group includes fruit juice.
  • The grains group is split into two:
    • Refined grains
    • Whole grains

How the AGHE and the Xyris food groups correspond

The table below shows how the Xyris food groups correspond to the 5 food groups and its additional categories of AGHE.

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