Healthy Eating for a Long Life
If I ask you whether or not you feel reasonable healthy
and whether you think that you are eating the right food most will say yes. But national statistics are saying otherwise.
On a daily basis, the average Australian eats just over half the amount of fruit and vegetables recomended by the National Healthy and Medical Research Council and about 25 % more fat.
So how do you know if your diet is good? who do you listen to? An Accredited Practising Dietitian is your diet professional. Consider us your diet doctor.
How Many Meals Should We Eat Each Day?
How many meals should we eat during the day for healthy eating? Eating one large feast a day is not very healthy. Nor is it any better to have a varying number of mealtimes from day to day. Your body works best with a regular supply of nutrients provided in three or four regularly spaced meals a day. Regular small amounts of slow release glucose (or low glycemic index) is beneficial for regulating blood glucose levels (good for diabetics) and preventing insulin peaks (good for preventing type 2 diabetes).
Glucose is the simplest molecule when carbohydrades are broken down in the gastrointestional tract. Therefore carbohydrates should be eaten with each meal and should make up at least half of your daily calorie intake. Carbohydrate foods include bread, potatoes, rice, cereals and pasta. Try to use carbohydrates that breakdown slower to release glucose (or low GI) such as basmati rice, multigrain breads, legumes and sweet potato.
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How Much Water Should I Drink?
Water is very important to replenish body fluids, flush wastes from the body and keep our organs healthy. To do this, our body needs at least 2 litres of water a day. Drinking excessive amounts of water is not good for you either as it remove water soluble vitamins from the body like vitamin B.
How many Fruit and Vegetables Should You Eat?
On a daily basis, the average Australian eats 2-3 serves of fruit and vegetables a day. Fruit and vegetables provide fibre, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and carbohydrates to our diet without adding high calories or fat. The Australian guidelines for healthy eating recommend that people eat 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables each and every day. More if you are pregnant or breast feeding. As a guide on your dinner plate, almost half of your plate should consist of vegetables followed by a carbohydrate portion and a protein component. This is also a good tip for those of us that struggle with excess weight.
How Much Exercise Should I Do?
The recommended activity level for the average population is at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercisee 3 times a week, but for less active active people I would recommend starting light with a 30 minute walking or swim 3 times a week. Staying active has many benefits including help with weight loss, glucose control, reduction in blood pressure and many more.
To get the most of your workout and improve cardiovascular fitness, an activity that raises your heart rate and holds it there for at least 15 minutes is best. Want to excercise at home? Yoga is a great all round activity that anyone can do. I love this website- new workouts every day at home whenever you want. Visit
Healthy Eating- What do I need to eat to ensure a healthy diet?
To eat a healthy diet it is important to eat a variety of foods everyday from each of the following food groups:
Bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles.
Milk, yogurt, cheese
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes
These foods provide the important nutrients your body needs.
Some practical ways to include a variety of foods
Bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles
· Foods from this group provide fibre, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and protein which are all important for energy and growth and repair of the body.
· Eat wholegrain bread, high fibre cereal, brown rice and wholemeal pasta.
· Instead of choosing most of your serves as bread and breakfast cereal, also eat rice, pasta and noodles, as they contain less salt.
· When choosing your breads, eat a wide variety of breads including white, brown, wholegrain, mixed grain, rye and rolls, pita breads and other flat breads.
Vegetables and legumes
· Foods in this group are a good source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and carbohydrates.
· Choose a wide variety of vegetables from week to week. Buy vegetables in season as these are the best value for money.
· Use frozen and canned vegetables as an alternative to fresh. They are nutritious, often cheaper, quick and easy to prepare, easily stored and available in remote areas.
· Fruit is a rich source of vitamins, including vitamin C and folate. Fruit also provides carbohydrates, in particular natural sugars and fibre, especially in the edible skins.
· Choose fruit more often than juice, as it is higher in fibre. Dried fruit is nutritious and adds variety to a healthy diet, but can contribute to tooth decay. For this reason, eat more fresh fruit and limit dried fruit intake to once a day.
· Canned fruit can be used as a nutritious replacement for fresh fruit, especially those varieties that are canned in natural juice or without added sugar.
Milk, yogurt and cheese
· Foods in this group are an excellent source of calcium. Women and girls, especially, need calcium to protect against osteoporosis. These foods are also a good source of protein, riboflavin and vitamin B12.
· Choices of milk, cheese and yogurt can be made on the basis of fat content, type of sweetener and flavourings used. To avoid eating too much fat, choose the reduced fat varieties of milk, cheese, and yogurt. Alternatively, if using full fat cheese, eat it only 3-4 times a week. Low and reduced fat varieties are not suitable for infants and young children.
· If you don't like drinking milk or eating yogurt and cheese then add milk or milk powder to soups, casseroles and sauces, add cheese to pancakes, omelettes and vegetable dishes and use yogurt with curries and in dips.
· If you do not eat any foods from this group, try other foods such as sardines, tuna, salmon, soy milk, lentils, almonds, brazil nuts and dried apricots as they also provide smaller amounts of calcium.
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes
· This food group provides a good source of iron and also zinc. Iron helps your body carry oxygen in the blood and zinc is an important mineral that assists the healing of wounds and in growth and reproduction.
· Red meat should be eaten 3-4 times a week, or high iron replacement foods will be required. This is especially true for girls, women, vegetarians and athletes. Iron supplements during pregnancy will often be recommended by your doctor or midwife.
· Choose a variety of meats and fish including beef, lamb, pork, kangaroo, chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit, fish and shellfish. To avoid eating too much fat, choose lean meats, avoid frying or roasting in fat and oil, eat sausages and processed meats only occasionally, use legumes as an alternative to meat and use low fat cooking methods such as stir frying and grilling.
· If you are vegetarian choose foods such as legumes, nuts and seeds from this group and choose wholegrain or wholemeal bread and cereals, as these foods are good sources of iron and zinc. Drink fruit juice or eat fruit with your meal to increase iron absorption.
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Healthy Eating for Heart health
All fats are very high in energy and will increase your
weight if eaten in excess.
Foods contain a combination of three types of fats:
saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
The different fats have different effects on your blood
TYPES OF DIETARY FATS
Saturated fats will increase total & ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL). These need to be avoided.
These fats are found mostly in:
• Fatty meats (asado, spare ribs), skin of chicken, sausages,
Spanish chorizos, luncheon meats such as mortadella, devon,
salami, bacon, liverwurst
• Full cream dairy products - milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream
• Butter, lard, cooking margarine
• Palm oil (used in commercial biscuits, cakes, pastries, snack foods, and many fried take-away foods)
Polyunsaturated fats -
There are two types of polyunsaturated fats:
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
They are found in plant products and fish. Both types are healthy!
• Omega 6 fatty acids
They will help to lower your total & ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Where can we find them -
• polyunsaturated oils - sunflower, safflower, soybean, corn and grape-seed oil
• polyunsaturated margarines
• nuts - brazil, walnuts
• seeds – sunflower, safflower
• Omega 3 fatty acids
They will help to reduce high blood triglycerides, reduce high
blood pressure, reduce the risk of blood clots (thrombosis).
Where can we find them -
• fatty fish eg. mackerel, sardines, herring, salmon, trout, tuna and
• linseed- including linseed products eg. breads, cereals.
• walnuts, canola oil
They may help to lower your total & ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Where can we find them -
• oils - olive, canola, peanut, macadamia
• margarines based on olive oil and canola
• avocado, peanut butter
• nuts: peanuts, macadamia, cashews, almonds
• seeds - sesame, pumpkin
* Poly and Mono unsaturated fats are healthy however if you want to control
your weight you should eat these fats in small amounts
Cholesterol is only found in animal food, as it is the animal's liver
that converts plants foods into cholesterol.
Main dietary sources of cholesterol:
• Offal, egg yolk, prawns, shrimp, calamari, and octopus
Need help with diet consult a dietitian