Make it a Healthy, Happy Easter

March 30, 2015| Health and Wellbeing /

It’s easy to get carried away at Easter and turn a day of indulgence into a four-day chocolate binge. But it is possible to have a healthy Easter without having to sacrifice the sweetness.

 

Not all chocolate was created equal

When it comes to choosing chocolate for your health it’s a case of the darker the better. The antioxidants found in cocoa (the main ingredient in chocolate) have been found to have a positive affect on heart health and they’re in much higher concentrations in dark chocolate. 

Studies have shown that the antioxidants in dark chocolate have the ability to improve the function of some of the cells within the heart and that in turn can have an affect on cardiovascular health including blood pressure.
— Jessica Bain, Dietitian, Epworth HealthCare

The concentrations of these antioxidants in milk and white chocolate are much lower and when you combine this with other ingredients including large quantities of sugar, these benefits are lost. In fact, the high kilojoule content and saturated fats in milk and white chocolate have been shown to have a potentially negative affect on the heart. 

So, while milk and white chocolate are a nice treat, they’re not going to find their way onto a healthy food list any time soon. For your health, choose the quality stuff, 70% cocoa and above. 

 

Remember, Easter is about more than chocolate

Promise, it’s true. Easter is a great time to enjoy a few days with family and friends and make the most of the milder autumn weather. So why not head to the park, take a bike ride with the family, go camping, do whatever makes you happy and gets you moving really. 

When it comes to eggs for the kids opt for quality over quantity. According to the Heart Foundation, six mini eggs can be walked off in an enjoyable 40 minutes, compared with almost two hours walking to burn off a 100 gram chocolate bunny. 

Try balancing the number of eggs kids receive with other treats and activities like a soft toy, colouring books, music or a gift voucher. Make them work for it with an Easter egg hunt (preferably somewhere with plenty of space so you can really spread them out) or an old-fashioned egg and spoon race. If you’re crafty try dying some eggs or have go at some eggshell painting. 

 

Get back on track after a blowout

Most dietitians would describe chocolate as a treat or sometimes food, something to enjoy as part of a balanced diet, not necessarily on a daily basis. But when Easter rolls around for some all bets are off and their Easter basket (or shopping trolley) is positively groaning under the weight of chocolatey treats. 

Remember Easter is just one day, not a month! Save your chocolate for Easter Sunday, savour it without guilt and once the day is over move on. Even if you do overindulge, get back to your normal eating patterns as quickly as possible.

“Enjoy it! There’s a lot of negative focus on particular foods but that’s not the message most dietitians would generally prescribe to. Every food is acceptable within the context of a healthy diet.” says Jessica Bain, Dietitian at Epworth Brighton and Epworth Hawthorn.  



Epworth

Join the conversation on The Village



November 14, 2018| Health and Wellbeing/

What to expect when you visit the Emergency Department

The emergency department assesses & treats people with serious injuries as well as those in need of emergency treatment.

November 14, 2018| Healthcare News/

Imaging Safety

Getting an x-ray is not the frightening concept it once might have been. We know so much about all types of scans and the potential hazards and how to avoid them, and technology is rapidly advancing. Some hospitals even boast an EOS now, which allows them to complete scans with 6-9 times less radiation than typical x-rays.

November 13, 2018| Our Community/

Get in Touch with Nature Without Leaving the City

It’s rarely contested that being around nature has benefits for your health. It ensures you’re spending more time outdoors, gives you a sense of connectedness with the world, and has been found to lower stress and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The best news is that even in the city there are many places to get in touch with nature. Here are five of them:

November 13, 2018| Our Community/

Camino de Compostela Fundraiser

Twenty-five weary participants have just returned home after completing the final section of the Spanish Camino de Compostela.

Walking 115km over six days they were blessed with perfect weather, some authentic historic farmhouse accommodation and knowledgeable guides.

November 12, 2018| Our Community/

Our Favourite Victorian Farmer's Markets

It’s easy for anyone who has travelled overseas and comes home to Australia to realise how fortunate we are when it comes to affordable and readily available fresh, wholesome food.