As we get older, healthy diet and active lifestyle are keys to a better quality of life.
Foods from the dairy food group are lacking in the diet of most Australians, and it’s estimated 8 out of 10 Australian adults are missing out on the minimum recommended serves of milk, cheese, yoghurt and/or alternatives.
Maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle can 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.
A healthy, balanced diet includes a variety of foods from across the five food groups:
- plenty of vegetables varieties, legumes and 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 Australian Dietary Guidelines explains more on the foods and amounts that make up a healthy diet.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends at least 2.5 serves a day of milk, cheese, yoghurt and/or alternatives for most adults aged 19-50. A serve from the dairy food group is a cup (250ml) of milk, three-quarters of a cup (200g) yoghurt, two slices (40g) of cheese, half a cup (120g) of ricotta cheese or appropriate alternatives.
Replacing some or all ‘junk foods’ with more nutritious alternatives like fruits, vegetables and dairy foods is one strategy on the way to a healthier diet. Junk foods are usually high in kilojoules but low in nutrients.
A healthcare provider can provide more information about ways to improve diet quality.