‘Healthy Cooking’ by Julia Lawson published in Great Health Guide (Feb 2016). Women are busier than ever which leads to less time being spent in the kitchen. A lack of time may lead to purchasing pre-prepared convenience and falsely labelled ‘healthy’ foods. Julia provides great recommendations for healthy eating without spending excessive time in the kitchen.
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NUTRITION: Healthy Cooking
written by Julia Lawson
Australian women are busy, significantly more-so than previous generations. Where a woman’s place was once at home, preparing lovingly- made dishes for her family, today women juggle full-time or part-time work with family commitments and a well-deserved social life. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report, that women spend about 20 minutes each day on food preparation and clean up, with that figure steadily on the decline. Meanwhile, sales of convenience foods have increased to approximately 1 billion dollars, highlighting a shift in the eating habits of Australian families towards foods that require little to no preparation.
An article in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine reported that a greater amount of time spent on home food preparation was associated with a higher- quality diet, which is related to reduced instances of environmental and lifestyle diseases such as:
high blood pressure
heart disease and stroke
type 2 diabetes
WHAT EFFECT HAS THE INCREASE IN PRE- PREPARED FOOD HAD ON OUR HEALTH?
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Currently in Australia nearly 2 in 3 adults are overweight or obese, a 10% increase since 1995. It’s no secret that commercially-made sauces, dressings and snacks contain large amounts of added sugar and salt to help extend shelf life and replace flavour that’s removed when a product is altered to reduce the fat content.
Marketing buzz words like ‘all natural’ and ‘wholesome’ are used to target the health- conscious consumer, however these phrases can confuse shoppers into purchasing products they believe to be healthy, when in reality their health benefits are minimal or non-existent.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends:
Total fat should not exceed 30% of total energy intake
Limiting intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake
Keeping salt intake to less than 5 g per day