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10 Tips for Eating Well on a Beach Holiday

on 11 December 2017
The sunny Gold Coast can become very hot in the summer, and you may be tempted to eat ice-cream and consume soft drinks. But if you want to enjoy your time here, you need to be healthy. And how do you do that? By eating healthy, of course!

Eating healthy has many benefits. It can increase your productivity, enhance your mood, help you control your weight, and make you live longer. So here are 10 tips for eating healthy around the Gold Coast.

1. Choose a variety of foods from the five food groups
You should eat a variety of foods from each food group every day in the recommended amounts. This’ll give your body the nutrients it needs to promote good health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Here are the five food groups:
  • Vegetables and legumes, e.g. carrot, tomato, mushroom, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin, corn, onion, cucumber, peas, and lentils.
  • Fruits, e.g. banana, berries, orange, apple, grape, pear, pineapple, and watermelon.
  • Grain foods, e.g. bread, rice, cereal, oats, pasta, noodles, quinoa, and couscous. Choose wholegrain, wholemeal, or high-fibre varieties.
  • Dairy foods, e.g. milk, yoghurt, and cheese. Choose reduced fat varieties.
  • Protein, e.g. red and white meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, and beans. The meat includes beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and fish. Choose lean meat.
2. Eat on a regular basis
By eating regularly you’re more likely to consume the recommended number of serves from the five food groups. A regular eating pattern is either three meals a day or three mid-size meals and three small snacks a day. You should also eat around the same time each day for every meal.

With an irregular eating pattern, you’re more likely to consume a lot of discretionary foods. These are high in saturated fat, sugar, salt, and kilojoules, and low in essential nutrients like fibre.

3. Never skip breakfast
If you skip breakfast you’re more likely to eat discretionary foods later in the morning and large serves for your next meal or snack. When you miss breakfast, those large baked muffins at morning tea can look so tempting!
You should eat breakfast regularly with wholegrain cereal or bread, milk or yoghurt, and some fruit or veggies. You’re more likely to eat well and lose weight compared with those who skip breakfast.

4. Eat natural foods
Eating natural means avoiding anything processed. So you should eat fresh and organic fruits, vegetables, and meat. If you’re on a budget, you can opt for free-range or grass-fed meat. You can buy the following fresh and organic:
  • Fruits – Strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, grapes, and cherries.
  • Vegetables – Celery, spinach, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers.
  • Meat – Red meat such as beef, pork, and lamb. And white meat such as poultry and fish.
5. Cut back on sugar, salt, gluten, and dairy
Consuming too much salt and sugar can give you heart disease or type 2 diabetes, so don’t add them to your food when eating. And only buy packaged foods and drinks with low amounts of sugar or salt (i.e. less than 120mg of sodium per 100g).

Choose fresh whole foods or minimally-processed foods such as fruits, veggies, legumes, and unsweetened dairy foods. You can also consider drinking a fruit smoothie, eating peanut butter, or putting a teaspoon of raw honey in your tea.
If you suffer from bloating, gas, and tummy pain after eating a lot of bread or ice-cream, cut back on your gluten and dairy intake too.

6. Use herbs and spices
Herbs and spices not only provide a range of flavours and aromas to your food, they also provide health-promoting properties. What’s more, using fresh, dried, or ground herbs and spices can help you create food that suits your tastes. The variety of herbs and spices you can use to flavour your meals also means you can enjoy your meals without having to add salt.

7. Include healthy fats in your diet
Unsaturated fat is a healthy fat. It can reduce your risk of heart disease and lower your cholesterol levels. There are two main types of unsaturated fat:
  • Monounsaturated fat – You can find this in olive and canola oil, cashews, almonds, and avocados.
  • Polyunsaturated fat – This includes omega-3 fats (found in oily fish) and omega-6 fats (found in Brazil nuts and soybean and safflower oil).
According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, you should consume 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats each day. Consider replacing saturated fat like butter and cream with polyunsaturated margarine or olive oil.

8. Drink water or fruit/veggie juice
Drinking water or fruit/veggie juice is not only healthy, it’ll also help you reduce your cravings and feel fuller by keeping you hydrated. Choose water or fruit/veggie juice as your main drink, and avoid soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks as they’re high in sugar.

9. Eat out and with other people
When you eat with other people, you’re more likely to eat well and regularly than those who eat alone. You’ll consume more foods from the five food groups, e.g. many people report that they can’t be bothered cooking veggies just for themselves.

You should also eat outside or at the table and not in front of the TV. When you eat while watching TV, you’re more likely to consume take-away or convenience foods and fewer foods from the five food groups.

10. Buy from healthy food and beverage outlets
There are plenty of healthy cafés, restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and beverage shops around the Gold Coast. Here’s where you can buy healthy foods and drinks:
  • Sunbaked Offers high-quality artisan breads and pastries, great coffee, and light lunches (quiche, pies, frittata).
  • Strand Fruit & Vege Get fresh and locally sourced fruit and vegetables, such as bananas, mangoes, stone fruit, avocados, cucumbers, and kale.
  • Healthy House Provides fresh organic produce from local farmers, wholefoods, paleo products, gluten-free groceries, super foods, snacks, and beverages.
  • Meat Merchant Coolangatta - Get top quality, locally sourced meat - the perfect protein for your meal.
  • O-Sushi Serves fresh and delicious Japanese cuisine, including sushi, tempura, gyoza, sashimi, teriyaki, and Japanese Hot Pot.
  • Grill’d Makes healthy burgers, sliders, and salads with high-quality and fresh ingredients. Also offers gluten-free, wholemeal, and low-carb buns.
Get into the habit of eating healthy
Eating healthy might seem difficult to get into the habit of, but the long-term benefits are worth the effort and there are plenty of places to help you eat healthy while you visit the southern Gold Coast. So follow these tips and enjoy something good to eat at The Strand Coolangatta, and you can look forward to a happier, healthier you.
The Loop > December 2017 > 10 Tips for Eating Well on a Beach Holiday