When consuming food, the goal is to consume the best and most nutritious forms to promote overall better health and greater quality of life.
The key to getting the most from your food choices is looking for the highest quality food choices available. Below I will take you through key points to be aware of when making these decisions.
1. Consuming Australian products made with Australian ingredients. This will ensure better quality because Australian regulations for food are much higher compared to other countries.
2. When consuming and shopping for fruits and vegetables, shop seasonally to make sure you are consuming Australian products and products with the highest nutrient value.
3. Avoid consuming packaged and heavily processed foods, and start choosing fresh food options the majority of the time. It’s key that we try to stick to consuming food types that are the least processed and have shorter ingredient lists. When looking at ingredient lists, make sure you know the ingredients and if sugar or preservatives are on it, look to choose a different option. Food products with longer ingredient lists usually come with many unknown ingredients so be aware of these choices and if choosing a packaged food, make sure the ingredient list is made up of real food items.
4. Following from the last point, be aware and cautious of the foods you’re consuming. Take notice of the amount of packaged and processed food you consume, and look at the ingredients in these foods.
5. Stress is something many people encounter on a daily basis and can come in many different forms, from emotional to situational. No matter the type of stress it dramatically influences our body function and certain hormones. High stress leads to elevated levels of cortisol which can have a detrimental effect on our gastrointestinal and digestive health. The function of our gastrointestinal and digestive system nearly effects every other organ in the body, so it is key it is looked after.
6. Another way cortisol can become elevated is from poor and low quality sleep with less than 5-6 hours of sleep per night. Also, sleep is the time the body takes to recover and repair.
Candace Sciberras is a Dietitian at OnePoint Health in Penrith. Candace graduated from the University of Wyoming, America with a degree in Human Nutrition and Food. She later went on to do her dietetic internship in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a member of the Dietetic Association Australia and holds her APD along with a Level 1 Anthropemetrist accreditation with ISAK.