Cooking at home is the secret to a healthy weight

cook at home to lose weightNew research, published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, shows that cooking at home more often means Australians will ‘up’ their fruit and vegetable intake, helping win the war on weight.

The research, involving more than 1,300 people, found those who spent the most time preparing and cooking meals ate more fruit and vegetables and spent less money on food away from home, compared with those who spent the least amount of time in the kitchen.

“Given more than nine in 10 Australians don’t eat the recommended five serves of vegetables a day, and 63 per cent of adults are overweight or obese, and that number is rising, this is important research,” said Clare Collins, spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and professor in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Newcastle.

Professor Collins said the quality of your diet is a good way of predicting weight, and healthy habits, such as eating more vegetables and less fast food, are linked with more time spent preparing and cooking food at home.

The research comes as the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) celebrates Australia’s Healthy Weight Week (AHWW)  from 16-22 February, which encourages Australians to cook at home as a way to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

“Other studies show that when we eat out we tend to have bigger portions, choose higher-kilojoule foods, and eat more saturated fat, salt and sugar. And research shows that regularly eating meals away from home is linked with the risk of becoming overweight or obese,” said Professor Collins.

When it comes to weight loss, Professor Collins also encourages Australian to be realistic, aiming for a drop of around half to one kilogram a week, to be as active as possible every day, and to take on eating habits that can be kept up over time.

Healthy Weight WeekWhat you can do

  1. Take part in Australia’s Healthy Weight Week cooking challenge by cooking seven meals in seven days
  2. Download your free copy of Everyday Healthy: Seasonal, Fresh and Tasty cookbook
  3. Seek the advice of an Accredited Practising Dietitian to make healthy changes to your diet.

For further information including the AHWW pledge campaign and home cooking challenge, plus nutrition tips, recipes and details of the more than 460 AHWW events being held across the country,  visit

Based on a press release from the Dietitians Association of Australia 16/2/15


Take care of your heart this Valentine’s Day

heart berriesThis Saturday, 14th February is not only a day for hearts to express their love — it is a day when Heart Research Australia focuses their energy on keeping hearts beating.

Coinciding with Heart Research Month, this national day of action is designed to bring attention to heart disease — one of Australia’s biggest killers.

According to statistics, every 26 minutes, an Australian loses their life to heart disease. That’s 55 Australians every day or around 20,046 people a year.

Funds raised through Heart Research Month will be directed to support research projects that investigate treatments for heart disease and medical conditions. It is hoped that initial research will lead to improved clinical practices in all hospitals around Australia.

Heart disease — also known as Ischaemic heart disease (IHD), coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease (CAD) refers to an inadequate supply of blood flowing to the heart. This is a serious condition which can lead to angina (chest pain) or a heart attack.

Arteries which take blood to the heart can become blocked with a build-up of deposits such as cholesterol, fibrous tissue and calcification. These deposits harden and cause the arteries to narrow. This process is called atherosclerosis.

The good news is that YOU can do a lot to protect the health of your heart and reduce the risk of heart disease. For example: Lose excess fat

  • Manage your diabetes if you have it
  • Quit smoking if you are a smoker
  • Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week
  • Reduce stress in your life.

You should also have regular heart checks with your doctor, particularly if there is a family history of heart disease.

So this Valentine’s Day, when you remember your loved one, remember your heart as well, and make a donation to this life-saving research.

Visit to find out how your donation can make a difference.