Empty supermarket shelves.
Empty supermarket shelves.

Are panic buyers making the right dietary choices?

SUPERMARKET shelves around the region, and the country, are being stripped bare of rice and pasta amid the coronavirus outbreak, but are shoppers making the right dietary choice in their stockpiling?

The major chains have placed limits on the amount of rice and pasta shoppers can buy in one hit as panic-buying grips the nation.

But across the aisle, things like baked beans are being left alone.

According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, it's important to eat a "wide variety of nutritious foods" from the five major food groups.

That means plenty of "vegetables of different types and colours, and legumes or beans", including baked beans.

And lots of fruit.

Pasta and rice fall into the grain, or cereal, category, along with things like noodles, couscous, oats, breads, cereals and quinoa.

As well as being a vegetable, baked beans also falls into the food group with lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds.

The fifth food group contains milk, yoghurt, cheese and their alternatives.

The dietary guidelines states "choosing a variety of nutritious foods, both from the five different groups and within each group ... increases the likelihood of obtaining sufficient intake of all nutrients."

"Eating a variety of nutritious foods can protect our bodies from chronic disease and may also increase quality of life and longevity," the guidelines state.

And canned goods, like baked beans, which are also low in salt and sugar, or frozen vegetables "are nutritious, too."

One serve of a grain food like cooked rice, pasta or noodles, is half a cup, and the recommended intake is six serves a day for women aged under 50 and men aged under 70.

On the flip side, one serve of beans is one cup, and its recommended that a person eats one to three serves each day.

So that's the choice shoppers can make as they presumably stockpile staples - but there are no current limits on how many tins of baked beans you can buy.

The final tip in the Australian Dietary Guidelines is to drink plenty of water.