10 healthy food habits to live by

The following article is an excerpt from the Food as Medicine cookbook, named 'Best in the World' for health and nutrition at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Developed by Australian Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, Sue Radd, this award-winning cookbook offers 150 delicious plant based recipes - each one chosen to help you live a longer, healthier life. Take a look at our favourite recipes from the cookbook in our Food as Medicine collection by clicking here.

What you eat matters and every mouthful counts!

The good news: your body has an innate tendency to mend itself and maintain good health. But both the damaging effects and the processes required to fix them kick in more quickly than previously imagined. The sooner you start reversing existing damage with your fork, the better! Healthy people also live happier lives. The Mediterranean diet, an example of plant-based eating, has been linked with lower risks of depression, stroke and dementia—conditions plaguing the modern world.

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10 healthy food habits to live by:

Some foods heal; some foods harm. Here’s what you can do to eat well:

  1. Enjoy colourful meals based on natural or minimally processed plant foods with no or minimal additives. They’re better for your health, kinder to animals and place less pressure on planetary resources. Plan your meals at least one day ahead. This will help you achieve dietary variety.
  2. Eat three satisfying meals each day, at similar times and not too late. Avoid grazing on processed snacks, even if labelled “organic.”
  3. Emphasise seasonal produce in your cooking: it will taste better, usually contains more nutrients and is cheaper.
  4. If you’re too busy to cook every night, prepare three recipes in bulk over the weekend — examples: dhal, curry or thick soup. Portion out and refrigerate/freeze for the week ahead.
  5. When serving your meals, round off with a fresh salad.
  6. Pack your lunch—even breakfast—if you work away from home. Homemade leftovers are ideal.
  7. Sit around the table and enjoy your dinner with someone you love or can have a good conversation with. Don’t eat in front of the TV or with electronic gadgets. Be a good role model to your children.
  8. Eat slowly and mindfully, consulting your tummy before you take more. Wait for 20 minutes before going for seconds.    
  9. Eat more ethnically. Pick the best of Indian, Japanese, Lebanese, Greek, Italian and other cuisines. Learn to cook traditional plant-based dishes from your family and friends.
  10. Don’t look for magic bullets. It’s the total dietary pattern (based on wholefoods) that matters most. Food quality is more important than quantity, at any weight.

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