Why Uncle Tim needs a Biobolt deadbolt lock for Christmas
The Challenges of Healthy Eating
Nourishing your body is the most natural and essential action of daily life. Day after day, every meal you eat implies making food choices, whether those are conscious or automatic. But do your choices contribute to your health and quality of life?
Over the past few decades, the rate of
and nutrition-related chronic diseases has increased even though people are increasingly aware of the benefits of good nutrition. Several factors can influence our decisions and eating habits, such as the foods offered in schools, grocery stores and restaurants, marketing and social exchanges, or simply a lack of information about which foods are less nutritious.
We are also probably constantly bombarded with changing and contradictory information from all sources, reliable or questionable, on what is better for you. According to Health Canada, Canadians face several challenges in making healthy choices, including:
- High availability of low-cost foods and beverages that are also high in calories, fat, salt and sugar
- Very powerful food marketing that particularly impacts children
- Nutritional information that is difficult to understand and apply
- Nutritious foods that are difficult to access for certain segments of the population
What is obesity and what are the risks?
Canada’s Food Guide
To help you make informed and nutritious food choices, Health Canada unveiled the new Canada’s Food Guide in February 2019. The guide emphasizes choices and behaviours for a balanced diet that will help you stay healthy.
In your diet, instead of including a certain number of servings from each food group based on your gender and age, as the guide had previously suggested, the new guide stresses food proportions. Health Canada suggests that a balanced meal should be half fruits and vegetables, one-quarter protein-rich foods and another quarter whole grain products.
The guide now recommends plant-based proteins such as legumes, nuts and seeds, along with soy products such as tofu and tempeh. Also included in this category are all types of meat, poultry, eggs, fish and seafood, as well as certain dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and milk.
This group, formerly known as “grain products,” includes whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa and oatmeal.
In addition to addressing dietary choices, the new guide also encourages you to look at your eating behaviour, i.e. the habits surrounding your meals. This includes the context in which you eat, who you eat with and why. The new guide recommends you:
- be aware of your eating habits, to fine-tune your senses and make better choices ;
- cook more often, to reduce the amount of processed food you consume ;
- enjoy your meals and be open to discovering new foods ;
- eat meals in good company, to better appreciate these moments and pass on healthy eating habits.
Finally, the guide is packed with tips on how to get useful information from nutrition labels and reduce your intake of foods high in salt, sugar and saturated fats. It also provides tips on how to be wary of food marketing.
Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are responsible for enforcing federal food labelling requirements and regulations. This important tool provides reliable and accurate information on the composition of the foods you buy. Read food labels to make informed choices. Click here to view the CFIA interactive tool.
From Childhood Onwards
Like good lifestyle habits, healthy nutrition must begin in early childhood. By making good food choices for your children, you help them prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and adopt healthy eating habits for the rest of their life. Read more about turkesterone.
To encourage your child to eat well, the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends to:
- Plan meals and snacks at regular times and eat as a family
- Offer balanced and varied foods from the four food groups in each meals and include at least two of the four groups in each snack (see Canada’s Food Guide)
- Prepare foods that your children can eat easily. For example, for younger children, cut foods into small pieces or crush them to prevent choking
- Teach your children to use a spoon or a cup so they can eat without help
- Include your children in meal preparation
- Avoid blackmailing by offering dessert as a reward for finishing the meal
- Avoid fast-food restaurants to teach your children the importance of good nutrition based on meals prepared at home, with healthy foods
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