The Dietary Guidelines for Australians promote good health and good nutrition for all Australians. An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can help to tailor these guidelines to individual needs.

The Dietary Guidelines for Australians are designed to help people choose foods for a healthy life.

The guidelines advise the following:

Guideline 1

To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs

  • Children and adolescents should eat sufficient nutritious foods to grow and develop normally. They should be physically active every day and their growth should be checked regularly.
  • Older people should eat nutritious foods and keep physically active to help maintain muscle strength and a healthy weight.

Guideline 2

Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods everyday from the five food groups. This includes:

  • Plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/beans
  • Fruit
  • Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high 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 (reduced fat milks are not suitable for children under the age of two years)
  • And drink plenty of water.

Guideline 3

Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol

  • Limit intake of foods high in saturated fat such as many biscuits, cakes, pastries,
    pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips,
    crisps and other savoury snacks.
  • Replace high fat foods which contain mostly saturated fat with foods that contain mostly polyunsaturated and mono unsaturated fats. For example swap butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil with unsaturated fats from oils, spreads, nut butters/pastes and avocado.
  • Low fat diets are not suitable for children under the age of two years.
  • Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added salt.
  • Read labels to choose lower sodium (salt) options among similar foods.
  • Do not add salt to foods in cooking or at the table.
  • Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars such as confectionery, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy and
    sports drinks.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, limit intake. For women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Guideline 4

Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding

Guideline 5

Care for your food; prepare and store it safely

There are also Dietary Guidelines specifically designed for children and adolescents.

An Accredited Practising Dietitian can provide practical, expert and individual advice on how to incorporate the Dietary Guidelines into every day eating, contact us now to book a consultation with our dieticians. 

To view the original article click here.

This information was obtained with permission from the National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council.

There are certain numbers that you can use to identify whether or not you have a heart risk.

Waist circumference

Your health can be affected by how much you weigh as well as by your body shape. Men often carry their excess weight around their middle, while women often carry their excess weight on their hips and thighs. Carrying excess weight around your middle (being ‘apple-shaped’) is more of a health risk than if your excess weight is on your hips and thighs (being ‘pear-shaped’). Measuring your waist circumference is a simple way to check how much body fat you have.

Why is waist circumference an important number to know?

Waist measurement guidelines increase a person’s understanding of their likelihood of developing lifestyle-related chronic diseases. These diseases include cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Measuring waist circumference is also an easy way to tell how much body fat a person has and where it is placed around their body. The following guidelines are based on World Health Organisation and National Health and Medical Research Council recommendations.

Increased risk of developing chronic disease

  • Adult men: more than 94 cm
  • Adult women: more than 80 cm

Greatly increased risk

  • Adult men: more than 102 cm
  • Adult women: more than 88 cm

Please note that the above waist measurements are recommended for Adult Caucasian men and Caucasian and Asian women with other community groups and ages yet to be determined.

Body Mass Index

Body mass index, or BMI, is used to judge whether you are underweight, overweight, obese or in a normal weight range for your height. It is useful to know this, and consider alongside waist circumference, as increases or decreases in weight outside the ideal range may increase your health risks.

To learn more about BMI and how to calculator yours, visit the BMI calculator.

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure varies from moment to moment. It is affected by many factors including body position, breathing, your emotional state, physical activity and sleep. There is no ‘normal’ or ‘ideal’ blood pressure reading. The following figures should only be used as a guide: 

  • Normal: Less than 120/80
  • High/Normal: Between 120/80 and 140/90
  • High: Equal to or more than140/90
  • Very High: Equal to or more than 180/110

If you want to make sure that your numbers are right contact us now and book in for a consultation.

To view the original version of this article click here.

 

Acupuncture – a time-honoured medicine
The origins of acupuncture in China can be traced back at least 2000 years, making it one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world. Today, acupuncture is an effective, natural and increasingly popular form of health care that is being used by people from a wide range of cultural and social backgrounds.

Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to understanding normal function and disease processes and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as on the treatment.

What is qi & how does it affect the body?
When healthy, an abundant supply of qi (pronounced chee) or “life energy” flows through the body’s meridians (a network of invisible channels through the body). If the flow of qi in the meridians becomes blocked or there is an inadequate supply of qi, then the body fails to maintain harmony, balance and order, and disease or illness follows. This can result from stress, overwork, poor diet, disease pathogens, weather and environmental conditions, and other lifestyle factors and becomes evident to TCM practitioners through observable signs of bodily dysfunction. TCM practitioners look carefully for these signs of health and dysfunction, paying particular attention not only to the presenting signs and symptoms, but also to the medical history, general constitution, and the pulse and tongue.

How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific sites (acupuncture points) along the body’s meridians to clear energy blockages and encourage the normal flow of qi through the individual. The practitioner may also stimulate the acupuncture points using other methods, including moxibustion, cupping, laser therapy, electro-stimulation and massage, in order to re-establish the flow of qi.

As a natural form of healing, acupuncture has the following benefits:

  • provides drug-free pain relief
  • effectively treats a wide range of acute and chronic ailments
  • treats the underlying cause of disease and illness as well as the symptoms
  • provides an holistic approach to the treatment of disease and illness, linking body, mind and emotions
  • assists in the prevention against disease and illness as well as the maintenance of general well-being

Acupuncture is known to treat a wide range of disorders including:

  • Neurological conditions such as headaches, migraines, difficulty sleeping, nervous tension, stroke, some forms of deafness, facial and inter-costal neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, some forms of paralysis, sequelae of poliomyelitis, peripheral neuropathy,noises in the ears, dizziness, and Meniere’s disease.
  • Cardiovascular disorders such as high or low blood pressure, fluid retention, chest pain, angina pectoris, poor circulation, cold hands and feet, and muscle cramps.
  • Respiratory conditions such as bronchial asthma, acute and chronic bronchitis, acute tonsillitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, hay fever, chronic cough, laryngitis, sore throat, influenza and the common cold.
  • Digestive system disorders such as toothache, post-extraction pain, gingivitis, mouth ulcers, hiccough, spasms of the oesophagus, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastric hyperacidity, gastritis, heartburn, hiatus hernia syndrome, flatulence, paralytic ileus, colitis, diarrhoea, constipation, haemorrhoids, liver and gall bladder disorders, and weight control.
  • Urogenital disorders such as cystitis, prostatitis, orchitis, low sexual vitality, urinary retention, kidney disorders, nocturnal enuresis, and neurogenic bladder dysfunction.
  • Gynaecological and obstetric disorders such as premenstrual tension, painful, heavy or irregular, or the absence of periods, abnormal uterine bleeding or discharge, hormonal disturbances, disorders associated with menopause, prolapse of the uterus or bladder, difficulty with conception, and morning sickness.
  • Skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, nerve rash, herpes zoster, acne, scar tissue and resultant adhesions, hair loss and dandruff.
  • Eye conditions such as visual disorders, red, sore, itchy or watery eyes, conjunctivitis, simple cataracts, myopia in children, and central retinitis.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis, sciatica, lumbago, weak back, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, tenosynovitis, shoulder and neck pain, cervicobrachial syndrome, ‘frozen shoulder’, and ‘tennis elbow’.
  • Sporting injuries such as sprained ankles and knees, cartilage problems, corking and tearing of muscles, torn ligaments and bruises.
  • Psychological conditions such as depression, phobias, emotional disturbances, anxiety, nervousness and addictions such as smoking.

Contact us now and book in to have a consultation with our Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Specialist.

To see the original version of this article please click here.

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