Did you know that a balanced, healthy diet can improve your mood, your energy levels, assist with weight loss and even help you live longer?
Here is your guide on how to find a healthier, more energetic you through your diet.
ENJOY FOODS FROM ALL FIVE FOOD GROUPS EVERY DAY
Healthy eating means eating a wide variety of foods from the five food groups, in the amounts recommended. Enjoy foods from all five food groups every day to give your body the nutrients it needs. It's also good to enjoy a variety of different foods from within the food groups themselves. This will help keep your meals and snacks interesting but also gives you a broad range of nutritional benefits.
Some food examples
|1. Grains (cereals)||
Breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, buckwheat, semolina, polenta, bulgur, quinoa, porridge.
Choose a wide variety of grains and choose wholegrain, wholemeal or whole-wheat types.
|2. Vegetables and legumes/beans||
Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beetroot, onions, red kidney beans, chickpeas, avocado, capsicum, mushrooms, cucumber.
Choose a wide variety and where possible, buy in season.
Apples, pears, berries, citrus fruits (e.g. oranges, mandarins and grapefruit), stone fruits (e.g. peaches, nectarines, plums), tropical fruits (e.g. bananas, mangoes, pineapple).
Choose a wide variety and try different colours every day. Where possible, buy in season. Choose fresh fruit more often than fruit juice, as this is higher in fibre.
|4. Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives||
Milk, cheese, yoghurt, soy milk and other alternatives (with added calcium).
Choose reduced fat varieties of milk, cheese and yoghurt.
|5. Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds.||
Lean meats (e.g. beef, lamb, veal, pork, kangaroo), poultry (e.g. chicken, turkey, duck, emu, bush birds), fish and seafood (e.g. fish, prawns, mussels, scallops), eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes and beans.
Choose a wide variety and where possible, choose leaner cuts of meats such as chicken breast, pork, lamb and beef fillets. Don’t eat processed meats too often as these are higher in fat (e.g. sausages, devon, salami).
KNOW YOUR SERVE SIZES
As well as eating the right types of food, we need to eat the right amount of these food groups each day to ensure you are giving your body the right amount of nutrients needed to grow and stay healthy.
The amount you should eat each day depends on your age, gender, body size and level of physical activity. To find out how many serves of each of the five food groups you should be eating each day, visit the Healthy Eating Active Living website
What is a standard serve?
VEGETABLES AND LEGUMES/BEANS
- ½ cup cooked broccoli, pumpkin or carrot
- ½ cup beans, peas or lentils
- 1 cup of salad
- ½ cup eggplant
- ½ cup of choy
- 1 medium apple, banana or orange
- 2 small apricots, kiwifruits or plums
- 2 medium (80g) figs
- 1 slice bread or ½ medium bread roll
- ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles or quinoa
- ¼ (40g) flatbread
- 1 handful (30g) nuts
Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds
- 65g cooked lean red meats such as beef, lamb, or pork
- 80g cooked lean poultry such as chicken or turkey
- 100g cooked fish fillet or one small can of fish
- 170g tofu
Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives
- 1 cup fresh milk
- ¾ cup yoghurt
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
For more information on serve sizes, visit the Eat for Health website
EAT HEALTHY FOODS INSTEAD OF "OCCASIONAL FOODS"
Some foods and drinks do not fit into the five food groups because they are not necessary for a healthy diet and are too high in saturated fat and/or added sugars, added salt or alcohol and low in fibre.
These are called ‘Occasional’ foods and should only be eaten sometimes and in small amounts. Examples include:
- Sweet biscuits, cakes and desserts
- Processed meats and sausages
- Ice-cream, confectionery and chocolate
- Meat pies and other pastries
- Commercial burgers, hot chips, and fried foods
- Crisps and other fatty and/or salty snacks
- Cream and butter
- Sugar-sweetened cordials, soft drinks, fruit drinks and sports drinks
- Alcoholic drinks
KNOW WHEN TO EAT & WHEN TO STOP
Many of us don’t eat until we’re really hungry, and then we end up over-eating. It’s better to eat when you start feeling hungry, and stop eating before you feel full.
- Incredibly hungry (starving, dizzy, irritable)
- Hungry (feeling ready to eat)
- Initial signs of hunger (slight pangs)
- Neutral (not full or hungry)
- Satisﬁed (feeling comfortable)
- Full (feel like you have overeaten)
- Overfull (feeling sick)
It's all about balance
Try to balance your food intake with regular exercise. Make sure you eat according to your activity levels and watch your portion size. A healthy diet from the 5 main food groups, eaten in moderation should be balanced with regular physical activity, at least 30 minutes most days.
Make water your drink
Cut out those extra kJ by drinking water instead of sports drinks, flavoured mineral water, fruit drinks, soft drinks & alcohol. Best of all, water is free!
Here are interesting figures about drinks and their respective kilojoules
- 355ml serve of soft drink contains around 639 kJ
- 355ml serve of orange juice contains around 621 kJ
- 355ml serve of water contains 0 kJ
Find out more about kilojoules content in drinks and food here.
HAVE A HEALTHY START!
A healthy breakfast can improve your mood and increase your energy to make sure that you reach your full potential during the day. You can also plan & keep track of your healthy eating with our Get Healthy Food Diary
GET HEALTHY TODAY!
Talk to a Get Healthy Service Health Coach on 1300 806 258 or start your journey here! Alternatively you can ask your GP or Allied Health Professional for a referral to the Get Healthy Service at your next appointment.
Learn more about healthy eating by accessing the Australian Dietary Guidelines