Avoid junk foods and sugary drinks

Junk foods are foods that contain lots of energy (kilojoules), salt, sugar, and saturated and trans fats while being low in positive nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre. Eating too much junk food can lead to weight gain and being above a healthy weight, which is a risk factor for a number of cancers.  Junk food also takes the place of more nutritious foods  (like fruit and vegies and wholegrains) that help reduce your risk of cancer.

Examples of junk foods:

  • Hot chips, burgers and pizzas from fast food outlets
  • Cakes, donuts, ice-cream, biscuits and muffins
  • Chocolate and other confectionary
  • Pastries, pies, fried spring rolls and sausage rolls
  • Processed meats such as bacon, salami, ham and pastrami
  • Crisps and similar snack foods
  • Soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, cordial and fruit drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages

Sugary drinks

Soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, cordials and fruit drinks are high in sugar and contain very few beneficial  nutrients. A 600mL bottle of regular soft drink contains an alarming 16 teaspoons of sugar, nearly three times the daily limit recommended by the World Health Organization.

There is convincing evidence that sugary drinks are associated with weight gain and being above a healthy weight, which is a risk factor for a number of cancers. Emerging evidence also suggests that sugary drinks may be directly linked to an increased risk of several cancers, however further research is needed to determine if these drinks are a true cause of cancer.

The best drink choices are plain or sparkling water, tea or coffee without added sugar and reduced fat milk.

Preparing healthy food at home

Cooking at home can be fun and easy. It also lets you control what goes in your food which means getting better quality food for less money. Here's some tips for healthy cooking at home.

  • Adapt your recipes to include more vegetables and legumes.
  • Choose wholemeal and wholegrain varieties of pasta, bread, rice and flour.
  • Use low fat cooking methods, such as grilling, baking or steaming.
  • Use non-stick cookware and try an oil spray to reduce the amount of oil you use.
  • Use reduced-fat dairy products.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat and trim all visible fat from meat before cooking.
  • Remove skin from poultry.
  • Swap store-bought sausages for home-made patties.
  • Look for ‘low-salt', ‘no added salt' or ‘saltreduced' products, for example, salt-reduced gravies, sauces, stocks and condiments.
  • Only use small amounts of very salty ingredients (such as soy sauce, olives, parmesan cheese or anchovies) in cooking.
  • limit salt used in cooking and at the table.  Flavour foods with herbs, spices, lemon juice or vinegar instead od salt.