Nutrition Information Services
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A single meal or day of eating rich foods will not make or break an otherwise healthy eating pattern. What you eat on a regular daily basis is what matters most. Enjoy your occasional indulgences but follow a healthy meal plan most of the time.

Healthy Eating

Enjoy eating well, being active and feeling good about yourself. That's vitality.

A single meal or day of eating rich foods will not make or break an otherwise healthy eating pattern. What you eat on a regular daily basis is what matters most. Enjoy your occasional indulgences but follow a healthy meal plan most of the time.

Eating breakfast every day can help improve concentration, reduce hunger and maintain a healthy weight. Look for fast and easy choices such as whole grain breads and muffins, cereal with milk, fruit and fruit juice, yogurt and yogurt shakes, cheese, and eggs, or be creative with last night's leftovers.

Vitamin/mineral pills are not insurance for a poor diet! Only food provides you with great taste and the energy you need to get moving and feel great. Some individuals, including pregnant women, can benefit from supplements. Before taking any supplements talk to a registered dietitian.

Remember to eat a VARIETY of foods because no single food is perfect. To get all the nutrients you need, enjoy as many different foods as possible from each of the four food groups in Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating.

Moderation doesn't mean giving up foods you love, it only means having a smaller amount less often. It's not just what you eat, but how often and how much, that really makes the difference.

Keep energized by having regular meals or snacks every 3-4 hours. Keep healthy snack and meal choices handy at work, in the car and at home to avoid settling for something less nutritious. Drink plenty of fluids including water throughout the day.

Food and Nutrient Advice / Recommendations

Carbohydrate foods are an important part of healthy eating and are the main source of energy for most people. Include more whole grains breads and cereals, rice, pasta, vegetables and fruit as well as beans, peas and lentils in your meal plans.

Milk and milk products are a key source of calcium and other bone building nutrients such as vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus and protein. Fluid milk is fortified with vitamin D. A healthy eating plan, which includes calcium and vitamin D along with daily activity will help prevent osteoporosis. Aim for 2-4 servings of milk and milk products each day.

Fat provides energy and also helps your body absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. Cut back, but don't eliminate fat. Instead make lower fat choices more often including vegetables and fruit, lower fat dairy products and leaner meats. Flavour foods with salsa, lemon, mustards, chutney, herbs and spices.

Fibre is important to help maintain regularity and control blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Eat a variety of fibre-rich foods everyday including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes such as beans, peas and lentils.

Canadian adults do not get enough fibre. Women should aim for about 25 grams of fibre per day while men should aim for approximately 38 grams per day. Achieve this by eating plenty of plant foods - 5 or more servings of whole-grain products and 5 or more servings of vegetables and fruit each day. As your increase your fibre choices, drink lots of fluids.

Try to keep your caffeine intake under 400-450 mg per day - about 3 medium-size cups (250 mL) of coffee. Choose decaffeinated tea or coffee, or herbal teas instead of higher caffeine beverages like coffee, expresso and some cola drinks.

If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to one serving a day. Serving sizes are one glass of wine (150mL/5oz), a bottle of beer (350mL/12oz) or shot of spirits (50mL/1 1/2 oz).

Meat is a key source of protein, B-vitamins, iron and zinc. Purchase the leaner cuts more often, trim off visible fat, and bake, barbecue, broil or microwave. Meat alternatives such as eggs and beans, peas and lentils are an economical source of protein.

Grain products provide B-vitamins, iron and carbohydrates. Enjoy whole grain choices more often such as whole wheat, oats, barley, rye, bran or oat breads and cereals, brown rice, multi-grain breads, pumpernickel bagels, and whole wheat flour tortillas and pita bread.

Getting adequate intakes of folate is especially important for women who may become pregnant. Women of childbearing age or planning to become pregnant should eat plenty of folate-rich foods and take a daily multivitamin or mineral supplement that contains 0.4 mg (400 ug) of folic acid.

If you eat out often order healthier choices such as whole grain breads or bagels for sandwiches; meals featuring vegetables such as stir fries, dark leafy green salads with dressing served on the side, vegetable based soups and pasta sauces; fruit salads and yogurt smoothies; bean or lentil dishes; meat or fish that are grilled or broiled instead of deep-fried.

Meal Planning

A weekly meal plan can help you get organized, cut down on trips to the store, and reduce reliance on take-out or delivered foods. Get other family members involved in the planning, shopping, preparation and clean-up.

Variety is the spice of life! Be adventurous and experiment with some new taste sensations by trying new foods and different recipes.

Healthy eating begins at the grocery store. Fill your cart with whole grain breads and cereals, rice and pasta, fruit and vegetables, milk and milk products, lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs and alternatives such as dried beans, peas and lentils. Read labels to guide your food choices.

Healthy Weight

Be realistic about your body size and shape. Your genes have a lot to do with the way you look so avoid trying to be someone you were never meant to be. Feeling good about yourself starts with accepting how you look. Remember, healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes!

Strict weight control diets don't work in the long run. Most people who lose weight typically gain it back along with a few extra pounds. Instead of dieting adopt long lasting healthy habits such as eating well and keeping active.

High protein/very low carbohydrate diets can be a risk to your health. Instead, follow a balanced food plan which includes foods from all four foods groups. For more information about healthy diets contact a registered dietitian.

Balance your food intake with your daily activities and energy needs to maintain a healthy weight.

Make small and gradual changes to your eating and activity habits. Pick one eating and activity change and stick with it for several weeks before adding a new one. Small steps work better than giant leaps to improve healthy living habits for the long term.

Active Living

Work up to 60 minutes of activity each day - two 10-minute walks, 20 minutes of yard work, and 20 minutes of stretching, cycling, skating, or dancing - it all adds up and every little bit counts!

Strength training, such as lifting weights, helps to build and maintain strong bones and muscles. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn even at rest!

Remember to eat a VARIETY of foods because no single food is perfect. To get all the nutrients you need, enjoy as many different foods as possible from each of the four food groups in Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating.

 
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