Official figures show that a staggering 96% of all Australians don’t eat enough vegetables each day.
In fact, the average Aussie eats less than half their recommended daily intake, . Yet, over a third of the kilojoules (energy) we consume each day come from unhealthy options like cakes, biscuits, take away, confectionery, drinks and alcohol .
Nutrition Australia, the country’s nutrition organisation and creators of the Healthy Eating Pyramid, is challenging all Australians to think twice about eating their usual snacks, and to choose vegetables during SMART EATING WEEK (12-18 February 2018).
“Vegetables aren’t just for dinner – they’re a versatile ingredient that can go in any dish, any time of day,” said Lucinda Hancock, Accredited Nutritionist and CEO of Nutrition Australia Vic Division.
“Whether they’re fresh, frozen or canned, raw, cooked, baked, mashed or sliced, eating more vegetables is one of the simplest things we can all do for better health and wellbeing. Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants which help us to live longer and healthier lives.”
In fact, adding just one serve of vegetables a day (half a cup of chopped or cooked vegetables, or a cup of leafy salad) can reduce a person’s risk of illness by 5% and reduces their chances of getting cardiovascular disease by 4% . Plus, the risk of stroke decreases by 11% for every extra 200g of vegetables consumed.
“For over 30 years, Nutrition Australia’s Healthy Eating Pyramid has been advising Australians to eat a diet of mostly plant foods, including vegetables and legumes. Sadly, most Australians don’t eat the balanced diet that’s depicted in the Pyramid, and this is why we’re seeing such high rates of diet-related diseases,” said Lucinda Hancock
The link between vegetables and wellness is so convincing that Bayer Australia has partnered with Nutrition Australia to sponsor the ‘Try for 5’ campaign which aims to inspire all Australians to eat more vegetables each day.
“SMART EATING WEEK is a way for all of us to focus our attention on the importance of good nutrition. Vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that are good for your health, and the focus of our partnership is to encourage all Australians to improve their health by eating five serves of vegetables every day of the year”, said Shazia Ahmad, Medical Manager, Bayer Australia and New Zealand.
Source: Nutrition Australia