I recently wrote about the new Health Star Rating system that has been introduced as a quick and easy way to compare the nutritional profile of packaged foods.
Since learning more about how the system works, it has helped me to make better choices when I'm at the supermarket.
As a new mum, my own nutrition is very important. Running around after a toddler requires energy, a lot of energy. Not to mention I am still breastfeeding, so ensuring that my own nutritional needs are being met is really important to my overall wellbeing.
Therefore we shouldn't be comparing items such as cereals and peanut butters, as these are in completely different categories.
The system takes into account the amount of ingredients in each product that are linked to increased risk of developing chronic diseases as well as the quantity of healthier ingredients. So, it takes all the guess work out of choosing the healthier option between similar package products for you.
Health Star Ratings are based on:
· Total energy (kilojoules) of the product. An average Australian adult should consume around 8,700 kJ a day.
· The saturated fat, sodium (salt) and sugar content. Consuming too much of these risk nutrients is linked to being overweight and obese, some cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
· The fibre, protein, fruit, vegetable, nut and legume content. Increasing consumption of these healthy nutrients and ingredients is good for your health.
A high Health Star Rating does not necessarily mean that the particular packaged food provides all of the essential nutrients required for a balanced and healthy diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutritious foods every day. Of course fresh fruit and vegetables are always a healthier option, but as a busy new mum, being able to refer to the Health Star Rating while at the supermarket certainly makes my life a lot easier.
Over the next few months I'll be updating you all on how I've been using the Health Star Rating system and how these simple changes are positively impacting not only my life but life for my entire family.