Looking for a smart health investment? Healthy eating pays dividends by helping you look and feel your best. Start with a plan; then stock your kitchen to put it into action.
Canada’s Food Guide describes the variety of foods that make up a healthy diet. It suggests what and how much to eat each day from the four food groups to meet your calorie and nutrient needs.
What you eat is important. Food supplies energy (calories) and essential nutrients (carbohydrate, fibre, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water).
counts, too. Eating too much of any food affects your calorie intake. The Food Guide can help you figure out how much of each food group is recommended for you.
Shop wisely to stay on track. Having nutrient-rich foods, basic staples and other flavourful ingredients in your kitchen makes it easier to prepare delicious and nutritious food. Before you go grocery shopping, plan ahead. Scan grocery store ads for seasonal produce and specials and then make a list by category (e.g., fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, pantry, frozen foods). In the store, look for claims, flags or other symbols on packaging to identify the items that are healthier choices.
Check out short-cut items such as single-serve whole grain crackers or cereal bars, bagged salad, grated carrots, cut-up fruit, shredded cheese, lean deli meats (turkey, roast beef), grilled chicken, cooked shrimp and canned beans.
Oils supply essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Make most of your fats the types found in fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils such as canola, olive and sunflower. Look for soft-tub margarine with no trans fat, light mayonnaise and salad dressings.