SWAP fast food for healthy, home made lunches this year and make 2013 "The Year of the Take Your Own Lunch."
It's the newest message from Diabetes Queensland's Swap It, Don't Stop It campaign, which is encouraging Ipswich residents to swap takeaway lunches for healthy, home prepared meals.
But, according to Nutrition Australia, taking your own lunch isn't just a kick start a healthier lifestyle, but also a great way to save money.
Nutrition Australia spokeswoman Aloysa Hourigan said Queenslanders would see the benefits of swapping takeaway for take your own in their wallets and their waistlines.
"By taking your lunch you can trim your waistline and fatten up your wallet," she said.
"Buying your lunch can result in eating more kilojoules, salt, fat and added sugars as well as less fibre, vitamins and minerals.
"In the long run this can increase your risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
"The other negative is the cost. Buying your lunch everyday adds up. Even if it is only a sandwich and drink, at $10 that adds up to $50 a week, or $2400 a year.
"Think what you could do with an extra $2400."
Ms Hourigan said there was a huge range of healthy lunch alternatives people could swap into their lunch boxes.
"Sandwiches and wraps are always a great choice and so are tasty salads," she said.
"If you're looking for something a little different why not combine a delicious tin of flavoured tuna with a bowl of lettuce, carrots, corn and tomatoes.
"You can add some four bean mix or eat it with a wholegrain bread roll.
"If you're after something even more exotic, why not tuck into a Thai flavoured poached chicken breast and side salad, with a low fat Thai dressing?
"If you choose this option, poached chicken can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer."
Ms Hourigan reminded Queenslanders they didn't have to abandon their favourite takeaway treats, but rather swap often for sometimes.
"Why not cook your favourite takeaway at home, whether it is a burger or fried chicken, something you have just occasionally and that way it won't stop you achieving a healthy weight," she said.
"Swapping, not stopping, is the perfect way to set yourself on a path to a healthier 2013."
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