What is nutrition?
Our ability to maintain good health and function starts with nutrition. Nutrition is vital for growth and development, and for prevention and treatment of disease. Both the quantity and quality of food and drink we consume has a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. Better nutrition has the potential to improve public and individual health. Good nutrition should involve eating a wide variety of nutritious foods from five food groups every day: vegetables, fruit, grains, lean meats and poultry, and dairy (or alternatives). Also limiting intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol, and drinking plenty of water is recommended. To live a healthier life, to protect against some chronic diseases and premature death, and to improve and manage your quality of life and wellbeing, good nutrition is vital.
Benefits of a healthy diet
- Reducing the burden of chronic and non-communicable diseases and their risk factors, including as heart disease, some cancers, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis
- Managing chronic health conditions
- Providing nourishment for your day to complete all daily tasks
- Energy balance
- Weight management
- Allows for optimal bodily function
- Improves quality and longevity of life.
Managing your nutrition
The key to managing nutrition is to follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines established by the Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing. These guidelines provide you with an understanding of which foods you should choose to promote your health and wellbeing, while reducing your risk of developing chronic disease. As well as this, seeking assistance from an accredited dietitian can also be useful if you find that you have specific dietary requirements or restrictions that you need to work around. Managing nutrition is all about balance - ensuring your energy is coming from a variety of quality, nutrient rich food sources, and that you are consuming the recommended average daily servings. If you live a very active lifestyle, to manage your energy levels throughout the day, the total quantity of food you consume may be different to someone who is less active. In this case, seeking assistance from a qualified health professional to ensure you are maintaining healthy nutrition whilst working towards your goals can be useful.
Where to get help