Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Wellness trifecta driving Australian diet choices

While the fundamentals of good nutrition are well known, new research has revealed a ‘wellness trifecta’ of sleep, stress and sustainability that’s driving Aussie diet choices.

Recent research from global nutrition and food-tracking app, MyFitnessPal, revealed that when considering diet choices, alongside the nutritional value of food (81%), its impact on the way Aussies feel is also top of the menu.

When making choices about the food they eat, close to half (47%) surveyed said they consider how food impacts their mood and stress levels, while four in ten (39%) cited the impact of food on their sleep. Interestingly, almost a third (28%) also considered the impact their diet choices have on the planet.

Sleep nutrition expert and MyFitnessPal ambassador, Olivia Arezzolo says the findings reflect Australia’s changing attitudes towards nutrition and the overall impact of food on our health and wellbeing.

“The food we eat is intrinsically linked to our energy levels, affecting our mood, motivation to exercise and also how we rest and recuperate. However, it can be difficult to know the true impact the food we eat has on our wellbeing, unless we track our consumption”, Ms Arezzolo said.

Latest research from MyFitnessPal shows that diet choices boil down to three important considerations – sleep, stress and sustainability.


Getting a good night’s sleep should be a top priority, as research showed that eight in ten (82%) Aussies admit they struggle falling asleep with almost half (49%) saying they’re not getting enough shut-eye.

While there isn’t a single food group that guarantees a good night’s sleep, Ms Arezzolo said we can make small dietary adjustments that may help improve the quality of our sleep.

“Research indicates diets high in fatty fish, healthy fats, for example avocado or nuts and legumes can enhance sleep quality. On the other hand, diets rich in saturated fat, from fried foods for example, and sugar, can compromise it”, she said.


When feeling stressed or not well rested, research showed that Aussies are more likely to give up on their nutrition and fitness goals.

Almost two-thirds of respondents (60%) say their stress levels impact their sleep and, at times of heightened stress, they’re more likely to reach for processed food (47%) and takeaways (38%), and are less motivated to exercise (33%).


The research revealed that over half (55%) of Aussies are actively changing their diet due to environmental concerns, with millennials leading the charge on opting for more sustainable food choices (64%).

More than a third (37%) of those concerned about the environment are ditching red meat in favour of fruit and vegetables, water and pulses and legumes.

“While some Australians are reducing their meat intake due to environmental concerns, this diet change can actually positively impact other areas of our well being – like the quality and quantity of our sleep”, Ms Arezzolo said.

To support Australians to reach their health and wellbeing goals, MyFitnessPal helps users track their food intake and measure its nutritional impact.

“The food we eat has a huge impact on the way we feel, which is why it’s so important to track it. Apps like MyFitnessPal can be invaluable in providing information on the quality and quantity of the food we eat, to help us make healthier nutritional choices for ourselves”, Ms Arezollo said.

“Alongside tracking your food intake, there’s also a variety of healthy eating plans and now a sleep section of the app to keep your track.”

MyFitnessPal’s recently launched ‘Sleep’ app integration has been created to help users more easily keep track of how their food choices impact their sleep – giving them insights into their ‘wellness trifecta’ in one place.

By presenting users with sleep cycle information using data from connected sleep devices (such as Apple Watch or FitBit), alongside their food diary, users can see how their nutritional choices are impacting their sleep and overall wellbeing.

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