There are two things Australians definitely enjoy – food and alcohol. This Australia Day be sure to enjoy the day and the food and indulge a little. However, if you want to be slightly mindful of the choices you are making, read the below tips!
Sausages are obviously a very popular option but they are very high in saturated fat and sodium and they are extremely processed. There are reduced fat sausages available from the major supermarkets which are a better option to the regular ones and they taste just as good! Making this swap will save you a reasonable amount of fat.
Steak is a good option because you can trim the fat and choose leaner cuts. Just avoid going overboard with the portion size. One serving of red meat is only 65g! And we are recommended to have 2 ½ – 3 servings each day without exceeding 455g of red meat per week. Whilst most Aussie men would never stick to these recommendations, it is still wise to decrease the amount of red meat you are eating.
Seafood is very lean and is a good option so make sure to have some on hand on Australia Day! Just ensure it is stored safely.
Cheese platters are another popular option and again, it is easy to eat a lot of cheese. It is important to still enjoy yourself and enjoy the day, but avoid eating a whole wheel of cheese over the course of the day! Fat reduced hard and soft cheese is also a good option.
You can’t have cheese without crackers. Instead of having some of the more oily and energy dense crackers, try substituting for a rice cracker which is far lower in fat and energy than some of the other popular choices.
Go light on the cabanossi and salami. Once again, these meats are very heavily processed, high in trans fats and sodium. You will likely be getting enough meat in the day so perhaps ditch these ones or only put a small selection out.
A note on food safety
Australia Day normally means barbeques or picnics and staying outdoors for the majority of the day. This can pose a big risk to food safety! Often food will remain out in the heat and sun for long periods of time. The other risk factor is due to minimal hand washing. Often people are playing with animals, coughing/sneezing in to their hands or playing sports and then going straight to eat before washing their hands.
Foods at particular risk of food poisoning
- Dairy e.g. cheese, milk, yoghurt, sour cream.
- Dairy based dishes e.g. potato salad or coleslaw.
How to prevent food poisoning
- Keep foods refrigerated and bring out only when eating, then put back away.
- Use an esky with ice to keep foods cool.
- Cover food up to prevent flies landing on it.
- Have hand sanitiser with you for people to use.
- Discard food that has been sitting out, particularly if left in direct sunlight.
- Alcohol is usually the main drink of choice on this day. Here are my suggestions:
- Instead of using soft drink or red bull as a mixer, use soda water or at least a sugar free soft drink. This dramatically cuts your consumption of sugar and energy.
- Make sure you have plenty of water on hand! Particularly if it is a very hot day.
- Alternate between alcoholic beverages and water.
- Be careful with free pouring – you can wind up drinking much more than you realise.
- Limit the soft drink and juice available.
- Dilute wine.
- Avoid binge drinking and try to keep it to just a couple of standard drinks – you will thank yourself the following day at work.
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY FROM ENT CLINIC!
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This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist.
If you have questions about nutrition related issues, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.