Healthy Eating Habits - FAQ
So you want to know whether your diet is up to scratch, how to develop healthy eating habits, and which healthy foods to eat?
These Frequently Asked Questions will give you the answers!
Q. I eat five or six vegetables with dinner every night and have generally healthy eating habits - is my diet good enough?
A. Your body uses vitamins and minerals every minute of the day – this is essential for normal function. For example, vitamin B12 is needed for red blood cell production and choline is needed for fat metabolism. You need a regular supply of a wide range of nutrients.
Most foods provide some vitamins and minerals but
fruit and vegetables
are the best
healthy food choices,
because they contain many antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, water, fibre and other ‘plant factors’ (phytofactors) that your body needs.
Eating fruit and vegetables in one of your meals is a great healthy eating habit, but ideally you’d have them at each meal and snack to keep up with your body’s demands for quality fuel.
Developing healthy eating habits could mean you need a change in mindset, the way you think about food. It’s about finding ways to enjoy foods with high nutritional values, and eat them more often
Here are some great healthy eating habits to develop:
1. Eat vegetables with every meal and snack - sneak them in wherever possible
2. Have a glass of water ten minutes before each meal and snack
3. Minimise processed foods to one serve per day or less
4. Replace white flour products with wholegrain products
5. Reduce sugary foods (can sugar) and replace with fruit
6. Cut down on soft drinks
7. Eat a little something every 3 - 4 hours
8. Eat according to hunger (not very hungry = small meal)
Developing healthy eating habits is start with making healthier food choices.
The benefits of healthy eating are getting healthy glowing complexion, better weight control and more.
A. In some cases, yes.
Locally grown, freshly-picked produce is usually cheaper (less travel). Depending on where you live (the laws and the climate), local fresh foods may be grown with little or no pesticides or herbicides.
Always wash your produce thoroughly to help remove surface pesticide residue. Remember that pesticides can be absorbed by the plant so peeling them may be a safer option (although you’ll lose some fibre and nutrients by doing this).
If the fruit and veg at your local store comes from interstate or overseas, chances are that the produce has been
for at least a few months, which can lower the nutritional value of food.
Q. I have a busy lifestyle and am on a budget. I often don’t have the time to cook with fresh foods so I use a lot of packaged foods like noodles, rice and breads. I also buy frozen and canned vegetables and fruits. Is my health really going to suffer just because I eat these foods?
A. Unfortunately, if packaged food makes up a substantial portion of your diet, then you’re probably missing out on fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytofactors. Healthy food choices - fresh foods - are often cheaper than packaged foods, it just takes some adjustment and a bit of education about quick and tasty meals using fresh ingredients.
For example, we often think that bread or biscuits are ‘fast and convenient’, but really, what’s an easier snack than a fresh apple and a few almonds?
A. Not necessarily. In some countries, fruit is rarely available and only eaten occasionally. In the history of modern man, vegetables have been a dietary staple and should provide a wide range of nutrients (assuming you eat a wide variety of vegetables).
A. Supplements can play a role in good nutrition, but ultimately a healthy diet including vegetables is an important foundation – supplements can only enhance a healthy diet, not replace it.
Increasing vegetable intake can be easier than you think. Try making a list of all the vegetables you like and find new and exciting recipes to help you eat your favourite veggies more often. You could also make a list of any vegetables you’ve never tasted but assume you don’t like. Then, try a ‘new’ vegetable from your list each week. If you don’t like it, at least you can say you’ve tried.
Of course, there are many sneaky ways to include vegetables in meals without even realizing. It all comes down to interesting preparation and the right combination of tasty ingredients.