Nutrition Guidelines

Good nutrition and healthy eating is crucial for a healthy lifestyle and to helps to reduce your risk of several chronic disease.
What is Healthy Eating?

Healthy eating is about having a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. This helps to maintain health and prevent chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

A healthy, balanced diet fuels your body with the nutrients it needs to work, rest and play, boosting your energy levels and improving your overall health, wellbeing and vitality.

A diet high in fat, salt and sugar is likely to lead to weight gain and poor health outcomes, leaving your feeling lethargic, unable to concentrate and deflated.

Health concerns associated with a poor diet include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Obesity
  • Joint problems, arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Sleep problems
  • Concentration problems
  • Depression and poor mental health
  • Poor digestive health
  • Some cancers
What can you do?

The Australian Dietary Guidelines give recommendations for a healthy, balanced diet. Enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five food groups is one of the main recommendations.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits, legumes, beans and vegetables provide us with many of the vitamins and minerals that help to maintain health and keep our body’s working without providing an excess of energy that can cause weight gain. The varied colours of these fruits and vegetables often represent the vitamins and minerals they contain, so including a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables can assist in ensuring that you get all the vitamins and minerals your body requires.
 

Wholegrains and complex carbohydrates

‘Carbohydrates’ come from sugary and starchy foods. Complex carbohydrates keep you feeling fuller for longer, and tend to be better sources of fibre and other nutrients. Simple carbohydrates are ‘sugar-dense’ and provide a short burst of energy with relatively no nutrients. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include wholegrain bread, pasta, grains and rice. Carbohydrate options to avoid include cakes, biscuits, sweets and heavily processed foods.

Lean proteins

Protein such as lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, tofu, nuts, beans and legumes provide many nutrients, including iron, zinc and B vitamins, and are particularly important for muscle growth. Although a dietary staple, many proteins are also high in saturated fat content and so these proteins (including sausages, mince, ham, bacon and processed meats) should be limited or avoided.

Low fat dairy 

Dairy provides a wide range of nutrients including calcium and vitamin D, however full fat dairy contains a significant amount of saturated fat. For adults low fat dairy options should be chosen where possible. For example:

  • Ricotta or cottage cheese
  • Low fat milk
  • Low fat greek yoghurt

 

Fats: Eat more good fats and less bad fats

Good fats (unsaturated fats, including Omega-3)

  • Deep sea oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel)
  • Avocado
  • Nuts and seed
  • Omega-3’s

Bad fats (saturated and trans fats)

  • Fried food and takeaway
  • Alcohol
  • Full fat dairy
  • Red meat
  • Cakes, pastries and pies

for more information visit the Eat for Health website.