The Standard Australian Diet (SAD), is it encouraging us to eat real food? Is it Simple? Is it making you happy?

The Standard Australian or American Diet, otherwise known as the SAD diet, consists of the food and the quantities of food we should be consuming as instructed by government and our health professionals. For example, they instruct us to eat: 6-11 serves of grains, cereals and pasta per day; two serves of fruit; five serves of vegetables including lentils, legumes; two and a half serves of dairy and; two and half serves of lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds. Think the Healthy Eating Pyramid and that’s what we’re talking about.

Here at Rumbles Paleo, we like to follow the Just East Real Food (JERF) philosophy. That is, lets eat food as close to nature as we can get. This includes lots of fibrous vegetables, moderate amounts of lean meats, eggs, poultry, nuts and seeds, and of course, our healthy fats to keep us satisfied! This is food we have been designed to eat for centuries!

Lets take a closer look.

The evolution of the Healthy Food Pyramid, also known as the Healthy Food Plate, has changed somewhat, with the changing attitudes and research into nutrition.

This is what it looked like in 1982.

Taken from http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/healthy-eating-pyramid/brief-history-pyramid

Taken from http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/healthy-eating-pyramid/brief-history-pyramid













This is what it looks like now:

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT 2015                                                       NUTRITIONAL AUSTRALIA 2015

Image taken from: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating

Image taken from: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating

Image taken from: http://nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/healthy-eating-pyramid

Image taken from: http://nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/healthy-eating-pyramid

















  • Sugar has been removed and we’ve been advised to limit our intake.
  • The Nutrition Australia pyramid has vegetables and legumes with the biggest portion of dietary intake.
  • Consuming water is now included
  • Nutrition Australia food pyramid includes the use of herbs and spices
  • Nutrition Australia food pyramid does not mention low-fat dairy alternatives
  • Margarines and low fat spreads have been removed


  • Australian Government food plate recommends vegetables and legumes and breads, grains, and cereals be consumed in the same portions, also the biggest portion of intake.
  • Australian Government food plate suggests choosing low-fat dairy alternatives.

So, what does all this mean? Are we being directed and guided to JERF following the Standard Australian Diet? Well, considering our nation is getting fatter and cardiovascular disease, and Type II diabetes are on the rise, it would seem not.


  • Limit your intake of grains, cereals and wheat products. These products have been shown to cause spikes in insulin, leading to fat storage, and the dreaded ‘crash’. These products are also known to cause inflammation in the body, increasing risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Increase real food into your diet to replace grains, cereals and wheat products. Think vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Limit processed and packaged food.
  • Increase intake of healthy fats. This will make you feel fuller and satisfied for longer. Include things like avocado, nuts, coconut oil, organic butter and olive oil. (To read my previous post about saturated fat, click here.)
  • Water, water, water! Miracle fluid! Water cleanses, detoxifies and keeps your cells happy and hydrated.
  • Move your body! We are becoming increasingly sedentary, something our bodies are not designed to do. Incidental exercise, such as parking further away from the entry at the shops and getting off the bus a stop earlier can ease the strain a sedentary lifestyle has on our bodies.

When it comes to finding the right balance for you, ask yourself three simple questions:

  1. Does the food I eat make me feel happy and energised?
  2. Am I nourishing my body in the best possible way to achieve the best possible outcomes?
  3. Is the food I am eating real?

When it comes to following the JERF principles, all you need to worry about is how you will fit all that good nutritious food on your plate!

Although the message has improved since 1982, where margarine was being heralded as an edible product, in 2016 it seems odd that the biggest portion of our dietary intake should come from grains, which are essentially a processed and packaged food. In my opinion, we are still missing the mark in regards to our nutrition and health. When it comes to diet, JUST EAT REAL FOOD…it’s that easy!

Written by nutritionist, Bec Nasr. Find out more about Bec here.

Beck Nasr is a fitness and nutrition expert. Her qualifications include both a Bachelor Degree in Health Science (majoring in Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Psychology) and seven years of working as a personal trainer, with specific focus on creating post and pre natal pregnancy fitness programs for women. Beck’s passion is to make it easier for people to navigate the world of health and nutrition. Her nutrition philosophy runs along the JERF lines of eating – Just Eat Real Food! You can contact Beck on the below email: bwiduckel@yahoo.com.au

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