The CSIRO Diet Healthy Diet Score report card came out recently, with some mixed results. Overall, we scored only a 59 out of a possible 100 points, with discretionary foods being the most concerning.  On average, we are consuming approximately 3 serves of discretionary foods each day, with alcohol, chocolate and lollies being the top choices.

The report also looked into people who are restricting foods, and you can find out more about this over at The FODMAP Challenge website here.

But what does a score of 59/100 really mean? And what can you do to bump your own score up a little higher?

The score of 59 is based on how closely individuals diets are to the dietary guidelines; most people do not eat enough fruit or vegetables, and as mentioned, discretionary foods are consumed in too frequently.

Women scored slightly higher (60) than men (56). Unsurprisingly, men seemed to over indulge in alcohol, and women in chocolate when choosing discretionary foods.

How to increase your score

Whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with consuming ‘extras’ sometimes, for the 99% of us who do indulge, it is all about making some healthier swaps, sometimes, to reduce the amount you consume. Here are some easy ways for you to increase your score:

  • Swap fruit juice for fresh fruit
  • Include more vegetables. It doesn’t have to be time consuming and difficult, the salad in the picture took less than 5 minutes to make!
  • Try soda or sparkling mineral water with some frozen berries added in, or other fresh fruit for extra flavour, instead of having soft drink
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, aim to have at least 2 alcohol free days per week, and when drinking, have a glass of water for every drink you consume
  • When choosing chocolate, choose one that has a high cocoa content, of at least 70%
  • Keep cakes, biscuits and other baked goods as sometimes foods, and enjoy in small quantities
  • Indulge sometimes! Don’t both with discretionary foods you don’t truly enjoy, save it for ones you absolutely love. And when you choose to, take your time with it, eat it slowly and mindfully so you can get as much enjoyment from it as possible.

To read the whole report, check it out here.

About Chloe McLeod