Healthy eating for mob
People who eat healthy tucker with foods high in fibre and plenty of vegetables are less likely to get cancer than people who eat junk food.
A healthy diet has plenty of vegetables, especially different types and colours, and some fruit, and some meat or fish or other protein. Make sure you drink plenty of water.
Although the traditional diet of our mob varies greatly depending on season and location, it contains a wide variety of healthy plant and animal food items essential to maintain good health. We have been making deadly choices with our foods since creation that keeps us strong.
How our diet has changed
Unfortunately, our opportunity to hunt and gather as our ancestors and Elders did has changed and non-traditional foods have become more commonly available to us. We adapt our diets to what is available.
With limited or no access to traditional foods and these changes, our diet has become higher in fat, sugar, and salt, and lower in fibre. Our risk of having diet-related health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer are increased because of these specific changes to our diet and our biological make-up as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Yarn with Elders and your mob about how you can hunt and gather traditional foods and incorporate them into your meals and snacks.
Try to cut down on unhealthy food and drinks
Try to cut down on having junk foods that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar. These foods are often low in fibre, vitamins and minerals, which we need to keep our bodies healthy. When we eat foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar it can cause many serious health problems for our mob.
Try to reduce the amount of alcohol and soft drinks too.
Most bush foods are healthy. Kangaroo meat is low in fat and high in iron, zinc and protein It’s recommended we don’t eat more than 500 grams of red meat a week– about half a kilogram each.
Desert lime, Kakadu plum, Davidson’s plum, lemon aspen, quandong and riberry are all healthy fruits, and Tasmania pepper, anise myrtle, lemon myrtle, bush tomato and wattle seed are all healthy herbs and spices. They have lots of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants that are good for our bodies.
Bush foods are healthiest when eaten at the right time of the season and prepared in our ancestors’ ways.
Eating fish might reduce cancer risk, and if you have fish more than once a week, you probably lower your chance of getting dementia. If you have fish more than twice a week, you lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and a common type of blindness.
Eat regularly and exercise
It’s also good to eat regularly, and to eat with family and friends. Exercise, like going for a walk, will help with healthy eating too – make us hungrier and more mindful of looking after our bodies through what we do and what we eat.
Yarn with your doctor, nurse or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker about the increased health risks related to diet and deadly health choices for you and your family.
Learn more about deadly food choices and read the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander guide to healthy eating.