Healthy Eating and Nutrition
Nutrition is very important to maintain a balanced lifestyle and this can be achieved through healthy eating. There are many benefits to healthy eating such as improved quality of life and wellbeing, protection from chronic diseases and more energy throughout the day. Therefore, the Australian Government in their "Australian Guide to Healthy Eating" describes how healthy eating is about consuming foods from all 5 food groups but in their recommended proportions. This guide focuses on healthy dietary consumptions that can help you develop healthy eating patterns and wellbeing rather than what foods to eat and avoid. These five food groups are: 1. Grains (cereal) foods which are high in fibre or are wholegrain. Some examples include cereals (muesli, Weetbix or rolled oats), different types of pasta (fetticine, penne etc), different types of bread and different types of rice. This is one of the biggest food groups and is recommended to be approximately 1/5 of one's daily diet. 2. Vegetables and legumes/beans. Vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, cucumber, broccoli, capsicum, eggplant, corn, onions and mushrooms are only a few of the many vegetables that can contribute to healthy eating. Beans such as lentils, kidney beans and chickpeas are also one of the many beans that are vital to one's nutrition. This is also another large food group and is recommended to be approximately 1/5 of one's daily diet. 3. Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds and legumes/beans. This is a slightly smaller food group and has a recommended consumption of approximately 1/5 of one's daily diet. 4. Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives to cheese with reduced fats. This food group should consist of approximately 1/5 to 1/6 of one's diet. 5. Fruits such as apples, oranges, mangoes, grapes, bananas, peaches, watermelons, pineapples and kiwis are only a few of the many fruits that can make up one's diet. This food group has a similar consumption recommendation as milk, yoghurt and cheese. Unhealthy foods such as sweets, chocolate, icecream, chips and other fried items are also a part of one's daily diet however they should be consumed in small quantities. Other foods which are recommended to be eaten in small quantities include oils and fats such as butter. Have a think about your diet. Do you think your diet shows healthy eating? How can you improve your diet? What foods on this guide have you not tried before? Further and more specific information can also be found in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.