Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Healthy eating

A child choosing between donuts and veggies.

Balanced diet

It’s important to eat a balanced diet. Make sure you choose foods from the 5 food groups. The amounts you need vary depending on your life stage.

Barbecuing food safely

Food poisoning cases increase during the barbecue season, so remember these simple steps to help keep your food safe on the ‘barbie’.


Calcium strengthens bones, helps prevent osteoporosis and more. Find out how much you need for your age and how to find good sources of calcium.


Carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced diet. Learn more about where to find healthy carbohydrates and what the glycaemic index (GI) is.


Cholesterol is a type of fat your body uses to repair cells. Having too much ‘bad’ cholesterol can increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Dairy foods

Dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese are rich sources of many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which is essential to bone health.

Dietary fats

The body needs some fats and oils as part of a balanced diet. But some fats (unsaturated fats) are healthier than others (saturated and trans fats).

Vitamin supplements.

Dietary supplements

Dietary supplements are also called food supplements or vitamins, and may fill any nutritional gaps in your diet. But most people don't need them.

Fibre-rich foods

High-fibre foods can reduce your risk of disease and keep your digestive system healthy. Find out how much fibre you need, and how to get it.


Folate, also called folic acid, is needed by your body to grow and develop. It is especially important for pregnant women to get enough folate.

Healthy eating over 60

As your body changes over time, so do your nutritional needs. Here's how to get enough fibre, vitamins, minerals and more in your diet as you age.

Healthy food swaps

Need help to meet your health goals such as reducing your blood pressure or cholesterol? See healthdirect’s list of healthier food alternatives.

Iodine and your health

Iodine is essential for your cells to make proteins, and to build your bones and nerves. Learn about how to get enough iodine in your diet.


The best sources of iron are animal-based foods like meat and eggs (called 'haem iron'), but many plant-based foods also contain (non-haem) iron.

Junk food and your health

Eating junk food, and having sweet drinks, can lead to short and long-term health complications such as weight gain, diabetes and heart problems.


Kilojoules are the way to measure both the energy in food and drink and the energy the body uses. Find out more and how many kilojoules you need.


Magnesium is a nutrient essential for healthy muscles, nerves, bones and blood sugar levels. Read about the benefits of magnesium.

Potassium and your health

Potassium is a mineral that your body needs so nerves and muscles function well. Read more on the signs of having too much or too little potassium.


Getting your daily protein is essential to a healthy diet, especially at certain times of your life when your cells need to grow or repair.

Reading food labels

Food labels contain detailed nutrition information about packaged foods. Learn how to make informed decisions when shopping for food for your family.

Salt and sodium

Excess salt can raise your blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Learn how to lower your salt (sodium) intake here.


Learn more about both natural and added sugars, sweet substitutes and how to reduce your intake to help prevent conditions such as obesity.

Vegetarian and vegan diets

It's easy to be healthy on a vegetarian diet if you include plant-based foods from the 5 food groups. But a vegan diet requires extra care.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for good vision, healthy skin and immune system support. Most Australians can get enough from eating a varied, healthy diet.

Vitamin B

The B vitamins are a group of vitamins needed for good health. Learn about what the B vitamins do, what foods have them and vitamin B deficiencies.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C keeps bones and connective tissues healthy, allows you to absorb iron and helps prevent infections. Here's how to get your daily intake.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is very important for bone health. Learn about natural sources and health risks associated with too much or too little vitamin D.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps your body to function, such as keeping your skin and vision healthy. It’s found in food that contains healthy oil and fat.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K deficiency can stop your blood from clotting properly and weaken your bones. Read more about how to prevent and treat vitamin K deficiency.


Zinc is a mineral that is essential for many of the body's normal functions and systems. Learn more about how much you need and how to get enough.

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Queensland Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.