Healthy Eating

What and how much you eat and drink, and being physically active are important for your health.

Being healthy improves your quality of life and your sense of wellbeing. Being healthy also means that you are more likely to be around longer for your whanau.

Healthy eating

• Helps your body to work well and helps you to feel good.
• Can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers and help you to have a healthy bodyweight.
• Means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients your body needs.

Eat from the four food groups

• Enjoy a variety of nutritious foods, including:
• Plenty of vegetables and fruit.
• Grain foods, mostly whole grain and those naturally high in fi bre.
• Some milk and milk products, mostly low and reduced-fat.
• Some legumes, nuts, seeds, fish and other seafood, eggs or poultry, or red meat with the fat removed. Legumes include lentils, split peas, chickpeas, and cooked dried beans (eg, red kidney beans, baked beans).

Making healthier food choices

Choose and/or prepare foods:
• With unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats.
• That are low in salt (sodium); if using salt, choose iodised salt.
• With little or no added sugar.
• That are mostly ‘whole’ or less processed.

Food safety

Food safety is about making sure that food is safe to eat. Harmful bacteria and viruses (bugs) can live in some foods, and if the food is not safely gathered, prepared, cooked, or stored the bugs can make you or other people ill. Buy or gather, prepare, cook, and store food in ways that keep it safe to eat.

(Courtesy Ministry of Health. See for more information)

Physical activity

Everyone needs to be active and eat well to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It increases your quality of life and your sense of wellbeing. Physical activity reduces your risk of a range of health conditions, and helps you manage the ones you already have.

It doesn’t have to be half an hour at the gym - physical activity includes:

• Walking • Swimming • Cycling • Dancing • Sport and recreation (structured and unstructured) • Gardening • Housework • Active transport (eg, walking to the shops, cycling to work or school) • A physical job

Remember: Even small increases in physical activity can improve your health. It’s never too early or late to start.

Sit less, move more
Breaking up regular sitting time is important - even small breaks from prolonged sitting are good for health.


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