Salad on the side – the answer to Australia’s weight problem?

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Yesterday the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the much awaited, early nutrition information from the big Australian Health Survey.

One of the most interesting things it told us, was that, in Australia, we are getting more of our kilojoules from things like pasta, noodle and rice dishes than any other type of food.

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Part of it is because, they’re so popular now, but we also eat large amounts and often don’t have many veggies or any salad with them.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest about 1-2 serves of pasta at a meal, to keep a healthy weight. A serve is 1/2 cup of cooked pasta.

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This serve of Spaghetti Bolognese above has about 4-6 serves.

But if we serve ourselves less pasta with our meals won’t we be hungry?

The secret is to always try to make meals half coloured veggies or salad.

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Not only does this cut the kilojoules of the meal in half while still giving plenty to enjoy, but it helps us get our five serves of veggies that we need each day.

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At home, it works well to serve half a plate of salad or vegetables first, then think about how much pasta and sauce you’d still enjoy, while staying comfortable.

A mixed pasta dish might look more like this.

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It doesn’t really work to try to only add extra vegetables to the sauce, because the same amount of veggies, just won’t fit.

If you’re in a rush, have run out of fresh veg, or feeling like an easy meal, frozen vegetables are a great option. It’s good to always keep some on hand.

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Take-away pasta or noodles, can work the same way.

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Serve half as much with some vegetables or salad on the side.

If you’re eating out, it works well to order an entree sized dish and a side salad.

Or share a pasta or rice dish and a leafy salad with others.

Or even both!

 

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