A healthy diet should include a good variety of nutritious foods. These include breads, pastas, fruits and vegetables. Eating breakfast is also an important part of a healthy diet.
Healthy diets contain a variety of foods
In general, we should all eat a wide variety of nutritious foods:
A good balance between exercise and food intake is important, as this helps to maintain a healthy body weight. About 30 minutes of physical activity, such as walking, is recommended every day.
Keep fat to a minimum
Adult diets should be low in fat, especially saturated fat. Saturated fat, which is the predominant fat in animal products, is more easily deposited as fat tissue than unsaturated fats. Saturated fat can also be converted into cholesterol and cause blood cholesterol levels to rise.
Small amounts of polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats may have some health benefits when they are part of a healthy diet. Polyunsaturated fats are generally thought to lower blood cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, are thought to have an anti-clotting effect on blood and may lower blood pressure.
Eat less high kilojoule foods
The total amount of energy-dense (high kilojoule) foods you eat may be as important as the total amount of fat in your diet. To reduce the energy density of your diet, you need to increase the amount of plant foods you eat. This will provide essential nutrients, help to make you feel ‘full’ and also reduce the amount of fat in your diet.
Eat foods rich in calcium and iron
It is important for all Australians to eat foods which contain iron and calcium. In particular:
Drink alcohol in moderation
A healthy diet can include a moderate amount of alcohol (men should drink less than two standard drinks per day and women less than one standard drink per day). Alcohol should not be given to children.
Healthy diets for babies and children
Follow these guidelines to help encourage a healthy diet for your infant or child:
Don’t let children skip breakfast
Children who skip breakfast generally have below average nutrition. Their diets contain less:
Skipping breakfast becomes more common as children get older. Some schools have introduced breakfast programs because they were concerned about children who skip breakfast. Children did better in school once the program was introduced.
Tips for easy breakfasts
Here are some easy-to-prepare, healthy breakfast ideas:
Where to get help
If you have concerns about your eating and how it is impacting on your health these websites may be of assistance
Things to remember
For more information on Health Eating visit:
Information, tips and guidelines from: Better Health Channel, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au