By making smart choices at home, at the grocery shop and at your favourite restaurant, you can reduce your risk of disease. Here are a few simple dos and don'ts to help guide your healthy decisions.
1. DO focus on vegetables
Most Australians don't eat the recommended minimum of five servings per day, but vegetables of all kinds and colours should take centre stage in a heart-healthy diet. They're rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that promote a healthy heart and body, plus they're filling and low in calories, which can help with weight management. Fresh, frozen, dried, canned (without sugar/syrups or added salt), raw, cooked – all vegetables are good for you.
2. DON'T overdo it on juice and processed ‘fruit’ snacks
While small amounts of 100% fruit juice can fit into a healthy diet, they're also concentrated sources of sugar (naturally occurring) and calories compared to whole fruits, which also boast heart-healthy fibre while juice does not.
3. DO monitor your sodium intake
Our bodies do need sodium, but we normally eat in excess of the recommended maximum of 2300 mg per day to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease. Remember that sodium doesn't just come from the salt shaker, but also from processed foods including canned products, condiments and deli meats and in cooking or at restaurants.
4. DON'T forget about added sugar
Most people know that added sugar doesn’t provide any real nutrition. While many people associate sugar with the development of diabetes, few people realise that sugar also plays a role in heart disease.