Nutritional health

With food having such a large impact on our physical and mental health, good nutritional habits are highly important. Good nutritional health plays an important role in keeping our body healthy and strong, as well as preventing illness, tiredness and feeling run-down.

As we consume at least half of our daily meals and snacks during work hours, it is important that we engage in healthy eating behaviours. Here at Western Sydney University we understand the importance of good nutritional health and provide a range of resources to assist workers improve their eating habits and understanding of nutritional health.

As such, nutritional assistance can be accessed through the University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and our food outlets are continually working on providing a variety of healthy food options to all staff and students.

Healthy eating does not need to be boring, complicated or time consuming. Examples of easy and delicious healthy food is listed below.

Healthy Eating Recipes

Smart Eating Tips

Tips for Healthy Eating

  1. Try frozen or canned vegetables as these may be cheaper than fresh and will keep for longer avoiding food spoiling
  2. Add some canned kidney beans, lentils (or other legumes) to mince dishes or stews to make the meal go further
  3. Ingredients are listed in descending order of quantity on all food labels. This means the first ingredient is the main ingredient in the food item.
  4. Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. High quality carbohydrate foods (high fibre, low GI) in the right amounts will provide adequate fuel for the body and brain.
  5. Do not shop when you are hungry as you are more likely to buy things you do not need or unhealthy food items like that chocolate bar at the end of the cash register!
  6. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends that we eat 2 serves of fruit & 5 serves of vegetables a day.
1 serve of Vegetables 1 serve of Fruit
  • 75 grams
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1/2 medium potato
  • 1 cup of salad vegetables
  • 1/2 cup legumes
  • 150 grams
  • 1 medium sized piece of fruit (e.g. an apple)
  • 2 smaller pieces of fruit (e.g. apricots)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) 100% fruit juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of dried fruit (e.g. sultanas or 4 dried apricot halves)

Why should we avoid fast food?

We all know that fast food/takeaway food is not great for our health. But did you know the average Australian family spends upwards of $63 of their food budget on fast food/takeaway food each week?

Fast food/takeaway food is often high in:

  • Saturated fat
  • Salt
  • Energy

Healthier options when eating out:

  • Plain hamburgers with extra salad
  • Small gourmet style pizzas (topped with vegetables, lean meat or seafood and opt for a thin crust)
  • Jacket potatoes with creamed corn, baked beans or salad toppings
  • Wholegrain sandwiches with lean meat and salad
  • Grilled fish with a side salad
  • Pasta with tomato based sauces
  • Sushi or Vietnamese rolls

Fun Facts

  • Men between the age of 19 and 50 need about 0.84 grams of protein per kg of body weight, per day. That equates to around 60 grams per day for an 80kg man. To put that into perspective, there is around 60g of protein in a small 100g rump steak and just over 12g of protein in two slices of cheese.
  • Getting enough protein is easy if you are including protein-rich foods every day like meat, poultry, fish, dairy, legumes and lentils, eggs and nuts. Your body doesn’t store extra protein, so any excess protein that you consume will be excreted from your body. So focus on good quality protein, rather than quantity!
  • You can obtain nutritional advice through the Universities Employee Assistance Program? Visit the EAP Website for further information or contact AccessEAP on 1800 81 87 28.
  • The Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA) recognises that the differentiation between nutrition and dietetics is not universal. In Australia all dietitians are nutritionists however nutritionists without a dietetics qualification cannot take on the expert role of a dietitian.

If you’re after more nutrition information, the Dietitians Association of Australia website provides a range of Smart Eating Facts on all things nutrition. For personalised nutrition advice, find an Accredited Practising Dietician, who can assist you in reaching your health and nutrition goals.