Eating healthy can change your life, but getting started is difficult without the right information. Learn more about the foods you eat everyday with VicHealth.
Making balanced food choices can be difficult when you don't have all the facts. Make nutritional decisions easy with our nutrition facts, food ideas, and Be Healthy blog articles exploring everything from sugar and protein to macronutrients.
The recommended maximum daily salt intake for healthy adults is 5g. That’s around 1 teaspoon. And while your body does need some salt to function, it’s only around 1-2g and you can easily get this from fresh food like fruit and vegetables. Elevated sodium has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, calcium loss, and stroke, but lowering salt intake can help.
Off-the-shelf foods can be high in sodium, and it may be hard to spot or even taste. This is why it's important to be aware of your sodium intake, check food labels and choose minimally processed foods such as unsalted nuts, lean meats, potatoes, green vegetables, and beans. These low salt foods will help you minimise the amount of sodium you ingest.
Interested in learning more about salt and sodium? Check out these resources.
Eating healthy, nutritious food is important for both your body and mind. A variety of foods make up a nutrient-packed diet including grains, vegetables, beans, fruit, and proteins. Adding more of these foods can increase your intake of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals
Whole food products help maximise the nutritional density of your meals, giving your body a boost of vitamins and minerals to keep you going for longer. Incorporating more of these healthy foods to eat every day can help improve wellbeing from the inside-out.
Here's how our healthy eating strategy is encouraging Victorian communities to eat more healthier food.
There are two types of sugar: naturally occurring sugars, such as fructose (found in fruit or honey), and added sugars, which are manufactured. Added sugars can be difficult to track, as they are added to off-the-shelf foods and drinks to enhance flavour or extend shelf life.
If you’re unsure of how much sugar is in a product, check the label. Here are some sugar facts that may help.
- A 600mL bottle of standard soft drink has about 16 tablespoons of sugar.
- There are over 40 different names for sugar on drink labels, including fruit paste, fructose, glucose, malt, molasses, sorbitol and dextrose.
- Overconsumption of sugar may lead to issues that can cause health complications down the track.
Low sugar food such as whole foods (vegetables, grains, and proteins), are packed with nutrients.
Continue reading here to find out how sugar relates to your everyday health.
Is it Meatless Monday in your house tonight? Try some recipes for vegetarian meal planning from our Be Healthy blog that are sure to please kids and adults alike.
Vegetables are not only delicious, they are also packed full of nutrients to give your health a boost. Maximising the veggies on your plate has some serious benefits, like reducing the risk of chronic diseases and illnesses, while helping your body get the vitamins and minerals it needs to function.
Whether you’re vegetarian, flexitarian, or just looking for some tasty recipes, there are lots of options to fill your fridge and pantry. From adding more vegetables to your plate, to finding new meat alternatives, there is more variety than ever before for anyone wanting to give veggie meals a go.
Take a look at these quick vegetarian lunchbox ideas for inspiration.
Food & Meals
Not sure what's for dinner? Get some food ideas here, including meal plans, how to make the most of your shopping trips, and information about what's actually in the food you eat.
Meal prepping is a time efficient, less expensive way to sort out lunches and dinners early, while saving on food delivery or those last-minute runs to the shop. Having nutritious pre made meals on hand makes lunch or dinner time easier.
If you're looking for easy things to cook at home, meal prep ideas or just inspiration on why to pre-make your meals, here are some tips to get you started. A healthy meal plan doesn't take much time to organise, and once cooked, it offers convenient grab-and-go options to enjoy all week.
Having a pre-stocked kitchen with some pantry essentials will help save time and fuss when it comes to throwing together a last minute meal.
Some of these pantry staples include long-lasting dry foods such as rice, oils, low-sodium sauces, grains, potatoes, garlic and root vegetables. Having all these on hand means you can put together some hearty and delicious meals without the need to leave the house for ingredients. Find more tips on getting the most from your pantry staples here.
Fruit and Vegetables
How much fruit and veg should you eat to stay healthy? The recommended intake is two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables per day. You'd probably agree that getting in these recommended servings can be tricky. 49% of adults do not eat the recommended servings for fruit and 93-94% do not eat the recommended servings of vegetables per day. If you want to add more fresh fruit and veg to your daily intake, you can start by using larger portions of vegetables in dinners and reaching for a fresh green fruit like an apple or a pear as a snack.
Another easy way to eat more fruit and veg is to pack it in your lunch—if it is pre-packed, you're more likely to eat it, and less likely to buy something on the go. Get more tips here.
Milk, including dairy and other types of milk, offers a range of health benefits. There are nutrients in milk such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iodine to help nourish your body and build healthy bones.
There are also a range of vitamins in milk that your body needs including vitamin A, B12 and vitamin D. Adding milk or milk alternatives to your day (like hemp, soy, almond, coconut and oat milks) all have health advantages, each with its own benefits.
Learn more about the impact of high-sugar toddler milks here.
Sugar powers the body with quick energy, if consumed in moderation. However, sugary drinks such as soft drink and other drinks with high sugar content, can be addictive and excess consumption can lead to health issues. Added sugars—which are made by manufacturers and added for shelf life or flavour—are in almost all processed beverages, including sports drinks, vitamin-enhanced drinks, fruit juices, cordials, energy drinks and more. These sugars can have different names on nutrition labels (such as glucose, molasses, or sorbitol), which makes them a bit tricky to track down. So how much sugar is in soft drink? A 600mL can of Australian soft drink contains roughly 16 teaspoons of sugar. The recommended intake for an adult is 12 teaspoons (or 50 grams) per day.
Continue reading about sugary drinks here.