Australians need to double down on vegetables

Peter Terlato 17 October 2016

supermarket girl vegetables tomatoes

Veggie challenge issued during National Nutrition Week.

Non-profit organisation Nutrition Australia is encouraging all Australians to eat twice as many vegetables to improve health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of diet-related diseases, such as diabetes.

While vegetarianism is now a trendy lifestyle choice, there's still an astronomically high number of Australians who don't consume the recommended amounts of fruit and veggies.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Health Survey reveals 96% of Aussies fail to eat the recommended amount of veggies.

The recommended daily intake for people over four years of age is around five serves of vegetables and legumes a day (75g per serve). The ABS data shows the average Australian eats around half this amount.

Last month the CSIRO surveyed Australia's eating habits, resulting in a diet score of just 59 out of 100.

In conjunction with National Nutrition Week (October 16-22), Nutrition Australia’s Try For 5 challenge encourages all Australians to discover new ways to add veg to their day.

Victoria CEO Lucinda Hancock says eating a rainbow of vegetables every day is a positive strategy.

“Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants which all help keep our minds and bodies working day-to-day, and reduce our risk of chronic disease in the future,” she says.

Despite the healthiest of intentions, many Australians are likely to purchase lollies, soft drinks and other savoury and sugary snacks if these items are discounted or on sale at their local supermarket.

The average Aussie extracts more than one third of their daily energy from junk foods.

Healthy eating has often been marred by the assumption that it is more costly and uninspiring. To combat this myth, we've compiled an A-Z on eating well for cheap.

Want to get fit? Try using a fitness tracker to motivate yourself to exercise or eat more healthily.

Check out Nutrition Week ambassadors Teeny Tiny Stevies' new track I Ate A Rainbow below.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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