A recent article shared key findings from the CSIRO healthy diet score report, which revealed how the average aussie diet is stacking up…and it isn’t ideal! The article highlights that the CSIRO surveyed 235,000 Australian’s about their diet and found only 35 per cent of the population is eating enough vegetables. It also highlighted that alcohol, takeaway food, and confectionary dominate aussie diets. So, let’s look at some of our key tips on how we can improve in these areas!
Improving vegetable intake
I get it, plain steamed vegetables aren’t the most exciting thing in the world – so jazz it up and make your vegetables tasty! Some ways to make your veggies taste delicious include:
- Roasting them with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Pumpkin, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, carrot, parnsip, turnip, capsicum and zucchini all roast beautifully!
- Make a delicious salad dressing with balsamic vinegar and infused extra virgin olive oil or wholegrain mustard, lemon and a hint of honey.
- Mix them through your dishes to enhance their flavour. This could be a stew, soup, bolognese, taco mince or curry. Bulking out with vegetables will also make the meal go further.
- Sautee greens such as broccolini, asparagus and beans with extra virgin olive oil and garlic then top with toasted flaked almonds and a hint of lemon zest.
Stuck on ways to enjoy vegetables? Try:
- Cucumber, capsicum, celery and/or carrot sticks with dip such as hummus or tzatziki.
- Make carrot cake overnight oats or porridge using grated carrot.
- Add neutral vegetables such as purple cabbage, cauliflower, or zucchini to a fruit smoothie.
- Add diced mushrooms, celery, and carrot to mince dishes.
- Mix cauliflower rice through brown/basmati rice.
- Celery with peanut butter – a childhood classic.
Reducing alcohol intake
Reducing alcohol can help improve sleep, gut health, immune health, and skin health. Some tips for reducing alcohol intake include:
- Limit to set days e.g. no alcohol Monday-Thursday
- Include at least 2 alcohol-free days per week
- Alternate each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water
- Enjoy non-alcohol beverages such as infused mineral water, soda water with frozen berries and lime, or the growing range of non-alcoholic drinks readily available
Choosing healthier take-away options
Life gets busy and we get tired, which often results in ordering take-away. But not all take-away foods are made equal. Some healthier take-away options to choose include:
- Salad bowl/nourish bowl
- Wholegrain chicken or tuna sandwich/sub
- Stir-fry or salad from Thai/Vietnamese
- Rice paper rolls
- Burrito bowl with avocado and extra beans
- Grilled fish and salad
Healthier sweet snacks
We’re all for enjoying soul foods such as confectionary occasionally, but we don’t want these foods to make up a large part of our diet. If you find yourself reaching for lollies, chocolate, biscuits etc a bit too frequently, below are some more nourishing alternatives to enjoy:
- Greek yoghurt with berries, passionfruit and pumpkin seeds
- Bliss/protein balls
- Medjool date filled with nut butter
- Nut/seed bites
- Apple or pear slices drizzled with almond butter and cinnamon
- Fruit crumble made with low sugar granola
Written by Amanda Smith, Dietitian (APD), Sports Dietitian