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What are Australia's guidelines regarding drinking alcohol?

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What are Australia's guidelines regarding drinking alcohol?

In 2020 Australia’s leading research body, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) revised the older 2009 recommendations on ‘safe’ consumption of alcohol. These recommendations outline that drinking any amount of alcohol increases your risk of short and long term health complications. These health risks increase with the amount of alcohol you drink. The revised guidelines take into account the evidence from research, as well as current drinking patterns of Australians, while acknowledging that we mostly choose to drink alcohol, and are not being forced to.

You can read our article about the short and long term health risks associated with excessive drinking here.

Australia’s current guidelines on the safe consumption of alcohol

The three guidelines in this updated review are intended to reduce the risk of alcohol-related disease, injury or harm.

  1. Healthy adults should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week, with no more than 4 standard drinks in one day. The less you drink, the lower your risk of harm from alcohol.

  2. Children younger than age 18 years should not consume any alcohol.

  3. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not consume any alcohol.

These guidelines recommend a lower maximum number of standard alcoholic drinks per week for healthy adults. This is because of new research on the direct link between alcohol consumption, heart disease and some types of cancer. The guidelines are also more definitive in terms of no alcohol consumption for children, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.

How you are affected by alcohol depends on how much and how often you drink it, your sex, age, current health and medical status, any medicines you are taking, and your family history in regard to alcohol.

What is a standard drink?

A standard drink refers to any alcoholic beverage that contains 10g of pure alcohol. Alcoholic drinks are made up of alcohol plus other ingredients. This means that the concentration (how much alcohol there is in a certain volume of drink) will vary with the size and type of drink. For example, spirits, such as vodka, gin and rum have a higher amount of alcohol per volume than beer.

Source: National Health and Medical Research Council: https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/health-advice/alcohol
Source: National Health and Medical Research Council: https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/health-advice/alcohol

As an example, drinking 285 mL of a spirit such as vodka would be equal to 9.5 standard drinks, compared to 1 standard drink if you were drinking 285mL of full strength beer.

In Australia, you will find the number of standard drinks that a bottle or can contains by looking on the label.

Your Personal Healthy Eating Quiz

What you eat or don’t eat affects how you look, feel and perform. Take our short quiz to find out what foods you could introduce to help you be your best.

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What is healthy eating?

Eating healthy is making sure you enjoy a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, in the amounts recommended. The five major food groups as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating are:

  1. vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. fruit
  3. lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans
  4. grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
  5. milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients and eating a variety of foods from the list above helps to promote good health and reduce the risk of disease.

How do I improve my diet?

If you want to improve your diet you have come to the right place. By completing the Healthy Eating Quiz you’ll receive instant personalised feedback and a report on your diet quality to highlight any areas where you can improve your overall eating habits. Your score is based on the frequency and variety of the foods consumed from the five major food groups mentioned above. No Money No Time can help you improve your score by providing tips, goals and suggestions. On top of this we will provide quick, cheap and healthy recipes as well as credible answers to diet hacks, myths and FAQ’s.

Is my diet healthy?

Dietary habits are different between people. Some people choose to follow a particular diet (i.e., Keto diet or vegan diet) while some have to make changes due to certain food restrictions or health conditions. If you want to know if what you usually eat is healthy, then do the Healthy Eating Quiz today to give you the answers in less than 10 minutes.

Why is healthy eating important?

Your HEQ score and personalised feedback report is based on the frequency and variety of healthy core foods you usually eat. This is important because no single food contains all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Some foods are higher in nutrients than others and people who have a lot of variety in the foods they eat are more likely to be healthy and to stay healthy. In other words, if you can eat a large variety of vegetables as opposed to only 2-3 types of vegetables, the benefits are much greater. This type of diet also helps you to feel better, think better and perform better during your usual daily activities.

Take the Healthy Eating Quiz