The Xyris food groups are broadly compatible with the five food groups (and additional categories) of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE). However, there are 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 unhydrogenated 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 (e.g. 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.
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.
|AGHE GROUP||XYRIS GROUP|
The 5 food groups
|Vegetables and legumes/beans||Vegetables|
|Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties||Grains|
|Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans||Protein foods|
|Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat||Dairy|
These foods are resolved to their constituent food groups, plus these food components:
|Unsaturated spreads and oils||Oil equivalents|
|--||Solid fat equivalents|