Fresh start: tips to spring clean your health – CSIRO

AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL SCIENCE AGENCY
We’ve been tracking Australian diets since 2015, and they’re falling below a healthy level.
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By Bianca Frew , Gilly Hendrie 11 September 2023 3 min read
You might spring clean your house every year, but do you spring clean your fridge? Spoiler alert. You might need to spring into action.
We’ve been asking Australians for the past eight years how their diet stacks up against the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Our healthy diet score report suggest our dietary habits might need a fresh start. More than 235,000 Australian adults, of different ages and locations, participated in the online survey. We assessed nine areas of diet quality to see how we’re tracking.

Filling up on the ‘good stuff’ keeps you healthy and satisfied.

Australian have averaged 55/100 since the survey began. But looking year-on-year, the average diet score has decreased from 56 in 2015 to 53 in 2023. Here’s how your state or territory compares.
Women scored better than men on most diet components. The greatest difference was in vegetable consumption – 62/100 for women compared with 54/100 for men. Overall, women scored an average diet score of 56/100, while men scored an average of 53/100.
Whether you’re aiming to eat healthier or simply beat your diet score from last time, we’ve got you covered. Try our tips to reduce, increase and add variety this spring. 
Try to reduce the amount of discretionary (junk) foods you’re consuming. Don’t close your browser too quickly  we’re not telling you to cut junk food out of your diet all together. Just being a little more mindful when you are eating these types of foods can help.
It’s simple, the more we fill up on the ‘good stuff’ the less likely we are to reach for the sugary and salty treats. Dust off those cookbooks during your spring clean and try a new salad recipe. Look for recipes that utilise herbs and aromatics to add flavour.

This healthy salad delivers over 30 grams of protein.

While you’re at it, you can sprinkle some nuts or crumble some cheese over the top to get those healthy fats and dairy into your nicely balanced meal. Make your salad a meal by adding colour, flavour and texture – think creamy feta, tart cranberries, salty olives, tangy capers, nutty tahini, and roasted seeds.

We have a great chicken and zucchini caprese salad, perfect for those warm spring nights for you to try.

Convenient and delicious, you can prepare this chicken chow mein salad ahead of time.

Aim to include three or more vegetables in your main meal. Only four in 10 adults currently do this. Want to revitalize your well-being and veg out more? Try these tricks:
Let’s spring into action by cutting out some of the cakes and takeaways and popping a few more peas on our plates.
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