Put your heart into the re­cov­ery menu

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - PA­TRICK TADROS

UN­LIM­ITED ac­cess to the kitchen has re­sulted in more than half of Aus­tralians putting on weight since be­ing con­fined to their homes.

The pan­demic has turned house­holds’ usual eat­ing habits up­side down, with 54 per cent of peo­ple ad­mit­ting to let­ting them­selves go, ac­cord­ing to a new Heart Foun­da­tion sur­vey.

It found 29 per cent were eat­ing more to re­lieve stress and bore­dom, while 26 per cent were eat­ing more desserts and nearly a quar­ter were snack­ing more than their usual habits.

“Even be­fore lock­down, poor diet was a lead­ing risk factor for heart dis­ease which, sadly, takes the lives of 48 Aus­tralians ev­ery day,” Heart Foun­da­tion Group CEO, Ad­junct Pro­fes­sor John Kelly said.

As house­holds slowly emerge out of quar­an­tine, it may be hard to leave be­hind some of these un­healthy habits.

Health ex­perts strongly rec­om­mend Aus­tralians pre­vent ex­cess weight gain dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time by swap­ping our pack­aged snacks for fruits and veg­eta­bles.

Heart Foun­da­tion di­eti­tian Beth Meertens said with a few changes, fam­i­lies can make bet­ter food choices which can ben­e­fit their heart and over­all health.

Recog­nis­ing what we’re eat­ing and adding veg­eta­bles to ev­ery meal are some easy steps in get­ting a han­dle on the sit­u­a­tion.

“Eat­ing well for your heart is about look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­clude healthy foods in ev­ery meal, and to take the time to en­joy them,” Ms Meertens said.

To com­bat obe­sity and pro­mote bet­ter eat­ing habits, the Heart Foun­da­tion and Coles are team­ing up with celebrity chefs to en­cour­age home cooks to cre­ate and share heart-healthy recipes and raise vi­tal funds to help save lives from heart dis­ease.

Start­ing to­day, fam­i­lies can join the Cook with Heart Chal­lenge and cook five or 10 heart-healthy recipes in 10 days and raise money for the Heart Foun­da­tion at the same time.

“Be­ing stuck at home makes it so easy to open the fridge ev­ery five min­utes,” said Court­ney Roul­ston.

The MasterChef star joins other celebrity chefs Cur­tis Stone, Luke Man­gan, Colin Fass­nidge and duo Dan and Steph Mul­heron, who will each cook a dif­fer­ent recipe on Chan­nel 7’s What’s for

Din­ner seg­ment.

“From cur­ries to gnoc­chi, ta­cos to frit­tatas, there’s never been a bet­ter time to cook some real tasty and de­li­cious meals that will ben­e­fit ev­ery house­hold,” Ms Roul­ston said.

There are 20 hearthealt­hy recipes to down­load, cook and share when you reg­is­ter at cook­with­heart.com.au

Those who reg­is­ter and do­nate also dou­ble their chances in the prize pool to win Coles gift cards, with a to­tal of $5000 worth avail­able to win.

The su­per­mar­ket will also match the to­tal do­na­tions raised to a max­i­mum of $100,000.

Pic­ture: TIM HUNTER

Court­ney Roul­ston at home in her kitchen.

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