A healthy diet improves quality of life, and overall health and wellbeing. Healthy eating will reduce your risk of dietary related conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity and it can protect against chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some types of cancers.
Many of the health problems in Australia are due to an unhealthy diet. An unhealthy diet stems from excessive intake of foods that are high in energy, saturated fat, added sugars and/or added salt but relatively low in nutrients. These include fried and fatty take-away foods, baked products like pastries, cakes and biscuits, savoury snacks like chips, and sugar-sweetened drinks. If these foods are consumed regularly they can increase the risk of excessive weight gain and other diet-related conditions and diseases.
Try keeping some healthy snacks handy to avoid falling into the trap of buying a chocolate bar or packet of chips when you start to feel hungry. Many diet-related health problems in Australia are also associated with inadequate intake of nutrient-dense foods, including vegetables, legumes/beans, fruit and wholegrain cereals. A wide variety of these nutritious foods should be consumed every day to promote health and wellbeing and help protect against chronic disease. Make the choice to start small changes to your eating habits every day.
Try to do at least 5 of the following healthy habits every day:
- eat two serves of fruit
- eat five serves of vegetables
- eat fish
- eat whole grain bread (instead of white bread)
- eat and drink low fat milk products (instead of full cream).
The Australian Government has developed the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, which encourages Australians to drink plenty of water and to also enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups.
For further information please visit www.eatforhealth.gov.au