Healthy Eating is a key part of a good health care routine and helps prevent disease. It’s important to balance your diet and choose a variety of foods from the 5 major food groups to get all the nutrients you need each day. It’s also important to reduce your intake of saturated fat, added sugars and salt to help control your weight and reduce your risk for chronic (long-term) disease.
Creating a healthy eating pattern can feel overwhelming at first. It’s important to remember that your diet doesn’t have to be perfect and that small changes over time can make a difference. These 20 dietitian-approved healthy-eating tips are evidence-based and easy to apply in your everyday life.
Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods and dairy or fortified soy alternatives. These foods provide key nutrients, including fibre, iron, folate, potassium and vitamins A, C, E and K.
Try to avoid processed foods. These are often high in saturated fat, added sugars and salt. Choose foods prepared from scratch using fresh, whole ingredients. This can be easier than you think. If you do need to buy processed foods, check labels for health claims and opt for items lower in saturated fat, added sugars and salt.
Choose unsaturated fats from vegetable, nut and seed sources over foods that are high in saturated and trans-fats. These include butter, ghee, lard and coconut oil.
Limit alcohol to 1 drink or less a day for women and 2 drinks or less a day for men. Alcohol is a source of saturated fat, added sugars and kilojoules.
Reduce your consumption of saturated fat by choosing lower fat options, such as lean meats, chicken breast, eggs, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), nuts, seeds, low-fat yoghurt and soy products. Choose unsaturated fats from vegetable, olive or canola oils, or use them in cooking to help cut down on kilojoules and saturated fats.
Make smart choices when you eat out. Choose lower fat and sodium options, such as grilled, baked or roasted fish or chicken, vegetable or quinoa salads, lower sugar or reduced-fat yoghurt, and lower fat or skim milk. Look for low-salt or no-salt-added sauces and seasonings to help control the amount of added salt in your diet.
Discretionary choices (sometimes called ‘junk foods’) are those that don’t fit into the 5 major food groups and can be eaten occasionally. These include foods and beverages that are high in saturated fat, added sugars and/or salt. Eating these foods too frequently can contribute to weight gain and some chronic diseases, such as heart disease and stroke. Emnahrungskompass