THE LIVING WELL LIBRARY
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Food is more than just fuel to give us energy; It’s a source of enjoyment, connection and creativity. However, think about your food choices and whether there’s room for improvement.
Benefits of eating healthier
A healthy diet includes vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, lean proteins, and dairy/non-dairy calcium-containing alternatives every day. A healthier diet will reward you with:
- More energy for everyday activities, including fitness
- Better concentration and alertness through the day
- Better sleep
- Good gut health – this includes regular bowel movements and less constipation
- A stronger immune system to fight off colds and flu
- Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
- Recovering more quickly from exercise
- Better self-esteem.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines
The Australian Dietary Guidelines are based on extensive research and are designed to provide us with the essential nutrients our body needs.
The guidelines recommend:
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight by being physically active and choosing nutritious food and drinks.
- Drink plenty of water, and consume a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups everyday (more about these below).
- Limit foods and drinks that contain high amounts of saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol.
- Encourage, support, and promote breast feeding.
- Prepare and store your food safely.
These five food groups are:
- Vegetables and legumes/beans
- Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high-cereal fibre varieties
- Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
- Milk, yoghurt, cheese, and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.
It’s important to eat foods from every food group and not cut entire food groups from your diet. Each food group has certain nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that are good for your overall health.
Want more information and support?
Speak with your GP
Speak with an Accredited Practising Dietitian – dietitians have a range of skills to support a variety of needs, including advice on gut health (dealing with bloating, gas, and IBS) to fertility (dealing with things like optimising a couple’s diet to have a baby). To search for a dietitian visit dietitiansaustralia.org.au
Speak to a psychologist – eating is often influenced by our behaviours, thoughts and feelings. It can be helpful to seek out a psychologist who specialises in body image, weight management, stress management and depression or anxiety. Visit psychology.org.au or ask your GP for a referral.
Searching for healthy recipes?
Here are some of our favourite websites:
- Health food guide at healthyfood.com
- Foodwise is a great website that can help you turn sad vegetables into a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner, visit foodwise.com.au
- Health and Wellbeing Queensland at hw.qld.gov.au
- Healthier.Happier. at healthier.qld.gov.au/food/recipes/
- The Heart Foundation recipes at heartfoundation.org.au/search/recipe-categories
- Australian Dietary Guidelines at eatforhealth.gov.au
For something different, these other organisations can help you improve your culinary skills:
- Queensland Country Women’s Association Country Kitchens Program, visit qcwacountrykitchens.com.au