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Cook, eat, enjoy; Advice for Nutrition Week

During Nutrition Week 2014 Nepean Hospital Dietetics Department challenged staff and visitors to cook and prepare fresh meals from healthy ingredients for one week instead of buying takeaway or eating out.

Nutrition Week was held from 12 to 18 of October and this year Nutrition Australia is encouraging all Australians to take the Nutrition Week Challenge and follow Australian Dietary Guidelines for a seven-day period.

The motto this year was ‘Cook, Eat, Enjoy’, and the emphasis was on increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains in our diet and reducing foods high in saturated fats and sugar.

Nepean Hospital Dietetics Department invited Nutrition Australia to put on a cooking demonstration on Friday 17 October in the South Block Foyer inviting passers-by to sample a healthy breakfast of muesli, yoghurt and fruit.

Traci Cook, Manager Department of Dietetics, Nepean Hospital, says healthy eating can assist with weight management and in the prevention of diet related medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

“National Nutrition Week is a way in which we as Dietitians can promote healthy eating by providing resources and tips to encourage people in the community to improve their diet. We want people to know that healthy eating can be both enjoyable and simple,” said Traci.

Traci added that healthy eating is important for every individual and we should all be aiming to choose a variety of foods from the core food groups and limit discretionary foods to occasional treats.

”The Nepean Dietetic Department is committed to promoting good nutrition and encouraging patients and staff to follow a healthy diet. We are enthusiastic about assisting the community in developing skills and knowledge in the area of good nutrition,” said Traci.

Entrants who signed up through Nutrition Australia’s website and pledged to cook their own food for a week were provided with a specially selected nutrition toolkit that includes a seven-day menu plan, shopping lists and recipes.

According to the 2011-12 Australian Health Survey only half of Australians eat enough fruits and only 6.8 per cent eat enough vegetables daily, and 35 per cent of our daily energy intake comes from foods low in nutrition and high in saturated fats and sugar.

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