A comparison of dietary quality and nutritional adequacy of popular energy-restricted diets against the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and the Mediterranean Diet

Ella L. Bracci, Jennifer B. Keogh, Rachel Milte, Karen J. Murphy

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    Abstract

    There is limited information regarding the nutrition profile and diet quality of meal plans from currently popular weight loss diets in Australia. This includes the energy content (kilojoules), the macronutrient distribution, and the micronutrient composition. Further, these diets have not been compared with current government guidelines and healthy eating principles for nutritional adequacy. Popular diets were identified through grey literature, trending searches and relative popularity in Australia. Meal plans for each diet were analysed using Foodworks Dietary Software to determine food group intake, micronutrient, and macronutrient distribution. Results indicated that all popular diets assessed deviated from government recommended healthy eating principles such as the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and the Mediterranean Diet. In most cases both popular diets, and the healthy eating principles had low intakes of multiple food groups, low intakes of essential micronutrients, and a distorted macronutrient distribution. Popular diets may not provide adequate nutrition to meet needs, particularly in the long-term and potentially resulting in micronutrient deficiency. When energy restricting for weight loss, meal plans should be highly individualized in conjunction with a qualified nutrition professional to ensure adequate dietary intake.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages14
    JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
    Early online date21 Jun 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jun 2021

    Keywords

    • Australia
    • diet quality
    • Dietary assessment
    • Mediterranean diet
    • micronutrients
    • nutrient profile

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