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Use the GCC Processed Pyramid to understand what to eat more of and whats best to eat in moderation.

Highly processed foods

Highly processed foods are designed with convenience as key. They are often portable, can be eaten anywhere (while driving, working at the office and watching TV, for example) and require little or no preparation. They are generally packaged in wrappers, tins or packets. Examples include ready to eat meals, breakfast cereals, health bars, artificially flavoured and sweetened drinks, hot dogs, ice cream, burgers, nuggets, infant formulas and pretty much any food that comes wrapped in pastry1.

These should be eaten least of all. There is still room in a healthy diet for processed foods, however regard them as an occasional treat.

Processed food ingredients

Processed food ingredients are rarely eaten alone; they are typically used in cooking or in the manufacture of highly processed foods. They include flours, oils, fats, sugars, sweeteners and starches. To create these ingredients, starting materials such as grains and oilseeds may be milled, refined, crushed or exposed to chemicals and these techniques can radically change the nature of the original raw materials1.

You should minimise foods with these ingredients by checking food labels (you can use the label reading guide we created for you in week 6 - find it in my toolkit in your Nutrition section).



Minimal or non-processed foods

Fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, meat and milk are foods that are not substantially changed from their raw, unprocessed form and retain most of their nutritional properties. The only processing may include washing, peeling, slicing, juicing and removing inedible parts. They dont need to be organic, locally grown or sustainably produced to be in this category though these choices may be available.

These should make up the bulk of your diet.

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2013 Get The World Moving Limited

Sources: 1. Monteiro, A and Levy, B. (2010). A new classication of foods based on the extent and purpose of their processing. Public Health Nutrition. 26 (11): 2039-2049. 2. NH&MRC. (2013). Food Shopping Tips. Accessed August 2013. Available: