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Choose healthy eating

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Too much body fat is not good for your health. It can increase your risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, cancer, and other serious diseases.

As much as possible choose to eat whole or less-processed foods. Whole foods are very close to their natural state, and they have no added fat, salt or sugar. Examples include fresh vegetables and fruit, raw nuts, fish, eggs, chicken or red meat with fat removed.

Less-processed foods have undergone some processing but still retain most of their original nutrients and can be healthy food choices. Frozen or canned vegetables and fruit, canned legumes and fish canned in spring water are healthy, convenient and affordable options. Other healthy examples include milk that is pasteurised to make it safe to drink, and whole grains such as oats, whole wheat and brown rice.

Highly-processed foods tend to be high in energy (kilojoules), added fat, sugar, and/or salt but low in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Highly-processed foods include sweets, sugary drinks, biscuits, muesli bars, cakes, pastries, pies, instant noodles, salami, luncheon, chippies and store-bought burgers and pizzas. Avoid or have them only occasionally.

Eating too many foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar and salt can be bad for your health. Choosing foods with unsaturated fats (from plants, excluding coconut and palm oils) rather than saturated fat, can lower your risk of heart disease.

When choosing packaged foods, look at the food product as a whole – some foods may be low in fat but high in sugar or salt. Compare the food labels of similar foods and choose those that are lower in saturated fat, sugar and/or salt and with the highest amount of fibre per 100 g of food. In the labels shown below, breakfast cereal 1 is the best choice.

Source: Healthy eating, active living