Ministry of Health: More whole foods, exercise

  • 28/10/2015
The Ministry of Health recommends picking heavier grain bread over white bread (File)
The Ministry of Health recommends picking heavier grain bread over white bread (File)

Eat more whole foods, spend less time sitting down and get some muscle strengthening activities into your weekly routine - that's some of the new advice for adults trying to stay active and healthy.

The Ministry of Health has just released its updated eating and activity guidelines for adults and there are a few changes to them.

Instead of focusing on being active every day, Kiwis are being urged to do at least two and a half hours of moderate activity - or 75 minutes of vigorous activity - across the week.

There's also new advice about spending less time sitting down and breaking up long periods of time in your seat - especially when it's at a desk.

That could involve something as simple as walking to see a workmate, instead of sending an email, or taking the stairs instead of the lift.

Another focus is on doing muscle strengthening activities at least two days a week to keep your body strong and reduce the risk of injury.

On the food front, there's greater emphasis on opting for better-quality whole grain and high-fibre foods, rather than refined grain food.

That means picking heavier grain bread over white bread and ensuring sufficient intake of fibre.

Choosing mostly whole foods over processed foods is another new recommendation, with concern about the increased availability of processed products that are high in energy, fat, salt and sugar but low in nutritional benefits.

The Ministry of Health guidelines have been updated to better reflect current international evidence for nutrition and physical activity, including recommendations from the World Health Organisation and World Cancer Research Fund, and dietary guidelines for Australia, the United States and Nordic countries.