Promoting healthy diets in clinical practice

All patients, including those concerned about their dementia risk, should be encouraged to eat healthily, minimise saturated fat intake and increase fruit and vegetable consumption.

Patients should be advised to follow the Dietary Guidelines for Australians. These recommend that all adults:

  • Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruits
  • Eat plenty of cereals, preferably wholegrain
  • Include lean meat, fish, poultry and/or alternatives
  • Include reduced-fat milks, yoghurts, cheeses and/or alternatives.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake
  • Choose foods low in salt
  • Consume only moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars

Referral to a dietician may be appropriate for some patients. An Accredited Practising Dietician in your area can be found on the Dieticians Association of Australia website, which also provides information on healthy eating.

Lifescripts resources include guidelines, prescription templates and other resources to support helping patients to eat well.

The RACGP SNAP guide outlines the recommendations for assessment and intervention to help patients improve their diet.

The RACGP Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice (the ‘red book’) summarise the nutrition intervention recommendations for patients at different levels of risk.

The Implementing Lifestyle Change health professional education series has been developed by the Heart Foundation and the RACGP, to train GPs and practise nurses in influencing patients to adopt healthy behaviours including healthy eating.

The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing website provides a range of information and resources related to nutrition, and links to state and territory health department websites and other nutrition related organisations and services.


Call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 for questions, information, advice.


Your Brain Matters was supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund from July 2012 to June 2015.



Dementia Australia would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians and carers of the country of Australia.