Challenge champions healthy-eating habits

September 11, 2021 BY

Colour, nutrients, flavour: Two serves of fruit and five serves of veggies are recommended daily by the National Health and Medical Research Council. Photo: FILE

ARE you eating a healthy amount of fruits and veggies?

The Cancer Council Victoria is encouraging Ballarat residents to take part in their LiveLighter September Challenge to consume more vegetables and fruits.

The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends two daily serves of fruit and according to a State Government population health survey, in recent years only 52 per cent of men and 51 per cent of women locally were meeting that mark.

The survey results included that only 12 per cent of Ballarat women were eating enough vegetables, with five servings per day recommended.

Dietitian and LiveLighter Victoria campaign manager Emma Glassenbury said varying diet adjustments could help people improve their level of health – coupled with exercise – and break any negative winter habits.

“It’s been a long 18 months for many. Moving in and out of lockdowns, coping with uncertainty and just getting through these stressful times means that our health and wellbeing may have been put on the backburner,” she said.

“The change of season, with longer days and warmer weather, is the perfect time for people to take simple steps to improve their health.

“Being above a healthy weight can lead to many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, and what we’re seeing… is that many people just aren’t consuming the foods they need to sustain a healthy diet.”

Ms Glassenbury said fruits and veggies are essential if a body is to “thrive,” while improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

“Our September fruit and veg challenge… which features 12 fruit and vegetable mini challenges, tips and links to resources and recipes… offers a chance to kick-start healthier habits, providing daily prompts for individuals who want to make improvements to their diets,” she said.

“We’re encouraging people to use this as a springboard in their homes, workplaces and wider community to move towards better health.

“Even by taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle, we can have a big impact on our health and quality of life down the track.”

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