Adulthood can be a busy time between juggling work, raising a family and financial responsibilities. Managing a busy life means getting the balance right.
Similarly, it’s important to balance your food and nutrition. A healthy diet and active lifestyle have many benefits for now and later in life such as:
- increased energy levels
- achieving a healthy weight
- reducing the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke
- reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
If you have kids, encouraging them to form healthy eating habits from an early age can help prevent diet-related diseases as they grow up. As a parent, leading a healthy lifestyle is also the best way to teach and encourage your kids to adopt good, lifelong habits. In fact, a recent study showed, parents who ate more dairy foods had children who also ate more dairy.
A healthy, balanced diet means including a variety of foods from across the five food groups, which include:
- plenty of vegetables of different types and colours, and legumes/beans
- grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
- lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
- milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced-fat varieties.
The amount of foods you eat from the five food groups depends on your individual kilojoules needs. The Australian Dietary Guidelines explains more on the foods and amounts that make up a healthy diet.
Foods for the dairy food group are lacking in the diet of most Australian adults. It’s estimated eight out of ten Australian adults are missing out on the minimum recommended serves of milk, cheese, yogurt and/or alternatives.
The Australian dietary guidelines recommends at least 2.5 serves a day of milk, cheese, yogurt and/or alternatives for most adults aged 19-50. A serve from the dairy foods group is a cup (250ml) of milk, three-quarters of a cup (200g) yogurt, two slices (40g) of cheese, half a cup (120g) of ricotta cheese or alternatives.
How can you get enough dairy?
By replacing some or all ‘junk foods’ with more nutritious alternatives like fruits, vegetables and dairy foods you’ll be on your way to a more healthy diet. Junk foods are foods like cakes or potato chips, takeaway pies, hamburgers or pizza, and drinks such as soft drinks or alcohol. These foods are usually high in kilojoules but low in nutrients.
If you play sport or are regularly physically active, milk and dairy foods can help you reach your fitness goals. Find out more
There are so many ways to incorporate dairy foods into your meals – find out more in our Healthy Recipes with Dairy Foods recipe book.
For more great recipes using ingredients from the five food groups, check out The Dairy Kitchen.
Ask your healthcare provider for more information about ways to improve your diet.