Fresh is Best
Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is one of the easiest ways to help you maintain good health.
Fruit and vegetables contain lots of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to protect us from all sorts of illnesses, from colds and flu to more serious diseases like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. The nutrients and antioxidants in fruit and vegetables are great for glowing skin, and strong teeth and nails. Fresh fruit and vegetables are also full of fibre, which helps with digestion.
Together with fresh fruit and vegetables, we also need to include food that contains grains, lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, and dairy.
In Australia, there are plenty of ways to purchase fresh produce, including supermarkets and fresh food markets – with both having options to purchase online for delivery if needed.
No matter where you are in Australia, you’ll find plenty of restaurants in a variety of cuisines – from Chinese, Indian, and Thai to Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern, and more.
While you have a lot of choice, keep in mind that dining out for every meal can be expensive and may not be the healthiest option.
Try to avoid deep-fried options, limit high fat, high salt sauces or toppings, and include extra vegetables. Choose smaller portions or share a meal with someone else.
Tasty Treats in Moderation
It’s often tempting to have a sweet treat with your mid-morning cup of tea or coffee. Or to have dessert after dinner. Friday night drinks with your colleagues at the local pub or wine bar can be an appealing way to end a long week.
Alcohol, soft drinks, and foods that contain a lot of sugar, salt, and saturated fats are generally low in essential nutrients and fibre and are often too high in energy levels. While we might love the taste sensation, these types of foods generally bring us little or no benefit nutritionally, contribute to unwanted weight gain and are associated with increased risk of obesity and chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer when consumed in large quantities.
It’s very easy to have too many of these types of foods and drinks too often – because they taste so good! However, we should consider them as treats for special occasions and only consume them sometimes, keeping the serving size small.
Buying International Food
Your local grocery store may stock aisles dedicated to international foods as well as have Kosher or Halal options.
You will also find specialty supermarkets that have a more extensive selection of imported foods from different parts of the world.
Cooking at Home
The great thing about cooking meals is that you can plan your meals for the week in advance. If you’re living in a share house, you can also consider sharing cooking responsibilities with your housemates.
- Always use fresh produce where possible
- Read food labels so you know what you’re eating
- Reduce the amount of processed and packaged food
- Buy frozen fruit or vegetables so you always have these on hand
- Keep a collection of cheap, healthy recipes