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  • What's in your lunchbox?

    10 February 2020

    Healthy living with Natalie von Bertouch

    Natalie von Bertouch is a dietitian, and Community Education Project Officer at Cancer Council SA.  

    What’s in your lunchbox?

    Do you know the impact a good and balanced diet can have? By eating a diet full of healthy foods and teaming it with being physically active every day and maintaining a healthy body weight, you can lower your risk of cancer.

    Studies have shown that being overweight, physically inactive and not eating a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables cause nearly one third of all cancers. While there is no one food that can protect against cancer, there are steps you can take to lower your risk through a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of foods from the five food groups.

    A look inside a healthy spread

    Give your body the right fuel for the day to help prevent cancer by aiming to pack a:

    • Main lunch that includes carbohydrates for energy—such as sandwiches, wraps, rolls, warm leftovers or salads based on grains like pasta, rice or quinoa.
    • Nutritious snack from the five food groups.
    • Piece of seasonal fruit, or tinned fruit in natural juice.
    • Water bottle and a small low fat milk (less than 300 mL)—sweet drinks such as juice, cordial, sports drinks, flavoured mineral waters and fizzy drinks are high in sugar and are not recommended.
    • If you need an extra snack, try picking an additional snack food from the five food groups.

    Make it and take it

    There are a great many healthy and nutritious snacks and meals you can make and prepare in advance. Why not make the most of leftovers and pack last night’s soup, stew or stir fry to heat up at work, or heat it up at home and store in an insulated flask.

    Or if you’re into baking, grab a wooden spoon and whip up some healthy mini carrot cakes that can be portioned and frozen ready for use.

    Having a high fibre diet can help cut bowel cancer risk.

    See this healthy recipe for mini carrot cakes which includes high fibre ingredients such as wholemeal flour, carrots, sultanas and walnuts. Hosting an Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea this year? Why not try this recipe as a high fibre, healthier alternative to traditional carrot cake! This way you can not only maintain your own healthy diet and cancer risk, but that of your family and friends too.

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