Fact Sheet - Healthy Living: Food and Nutrition
Healthy living refers to the notion of maintaining a healthy mind and body by following simple common sense practices in your daily routines. There are several elements that a person needs take into consideration when making choices for a healthy living: food and nutrition, physical activity, stress & mental health, drug & alcohol abuse.

Food and nutrition:

There is no one secret to healthy eating. Currently you will find an unlimited number of diets with different suggestions for a healthy diet.? What is important to keep in mind is that our body needs a variety of foods from different food groups. These may include plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products. A healthy diet also includes low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and legumes. Drink lots of water and go easy on the salt, sugar, alcohol, and saturated fat.?

Bread, cereals, rice, pasta noodles:

Foods from this group provide fibre, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and protein which are all important for energy and growth and repair of the body. This to keep in mind:

  • Eat wholegrain bread, high fibre cereal, brown rice and wholemeal pasta.
  • Instead of choosing most of your serves as bread and breakfast cereal, also eat rice, pasta and noodles, as they contain less salt.
  • When choosing your breads, eat a wide variety of breads including white, brown, wholegrain, multi grain, rye and rolls, pita breads and other flat breads.?

Vegetables, legumes.?

Foods in this group are a good source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and carbohydrates.

  • Choose a wide variety of vegetables from week to week. Buy vegetables in season as these are the best value for money.
  • Use frozen and canned vegetables as an alternative to fresh. They are nutritious, often cheaper, quick and easy to prepare, easily stored and available in remote areas


Fruit is a rich source of vitamins, including vitamin C and foliate. Fruit also provides carbohydrates, in particular natural sugars and fibre, especially in the edible skins.

  • Fruit also provides dietary fibre which can help prevent and manage conditions such as being overweight, bowel cancer, haemorrhoids, diabetes and high blood cholesterol.
  • Choose fresh fruit more often than juice, as it is higher in fibre. Dried fruit is nutritious and adds variety to a healthy diet, but can contribute to tooth decay. For this reason, it is preferable to eat more fresh fruit and to limit to limit your intake of dry fruit.
  • Canned fruit can be used as a nutritious replacement for fresh fruit, especially those varieties that are canned in natural juice or without added sugar.?

Milk, yogurt, cheese.

Foods in this group are an excellent source of calcium. Women and girls, especially, need calcium to protect against osteoporosis. These foods are also a good source of protein, riboflavin and vitamin B12.

  • Choices of milk, cheese and yogurt can be made on the basis of fat content, type of sweetener and flavourings used.
  • To avoid eating too much fat, choose the reduced fat varieties of milk, cheese, and yogurt. Alternatively, if using full fat cheese, eat it only 3-4 times a week.
  • Low and reduced fat varieties are not suitable for infants and young children.
  • If you don't like drinking milk or eating yogurt and cheese then add milk or milk powder to soups, casseroles and sauces, add cheese to pancakes, omelettes and vegetable dishes and use yogurt with curries and in dips. If you do not eat any foods from this group, try other foods such as sardines, tuna, salmon, soy milk, lentils, almonds, brazil nuts and dried apricots as they also provide smaller amounts of calcium

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes.?

This food group provides a good source of iron and also zinc. Iron helps your body carry oxygen in the blood and zinc is an important mineral that assists the healing of wounds and in growth and reproduction.

  • Red meat should be eaten 3-4 times a week, or high iron replacement foods will be required. This is especially true for girls, women, vegetarians and athletes. Iron supplements during pregnancy will often be recommended by your doctor or midwife.
  • Choose a variety of meats and fish including beef, lamb, pork, kangaroo, chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit, fish and shellfish. To avoid eating too much fat, choose lean meats, avoid frying or roasting in fat and oil, eat sausages and processed meats only occasionally, use legumes as an alternative to meat and use low fat cooking methods such as stir frying and grilling.
  • If you are vegetarian choose foods such as legumes, nuts and seeds from this group and choose whole wheat or multigrain bread and cereals, as these foods are good sources of iron and zinc. Drink fruit juice or eat fruit with your meal to increase iron absorption.


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