Nutrition – Eat healthy

Tips for healthy eating and living

To get all the nutrients you need, eat a variety from each of four main food groups:

  1. Vegetables and fruit – choose dark green and orange vegetables and orange fruit more often.
  2. Grain products – choose whole grain and enriched products more often.
  3. Milk products – choose lower-fat milk products more often. Calcium in milk products build strong bones.
  4. Meat and alternatives – choose leaner meats, poultry and fish, as well as dried peas, beans and lentils more often. Animal foods such as meat, eggs and milk products are a natural source of vitamin B12. B-vitamins make red blood cells that keep your nervous system healthy and help your body use energy from food.

Balance a healthy diet with ample physical activity.

Eating the right amount of food is as important as what you choose to eat.

    Include plenty of grain products, vegetables and fruits in your diet.

    • These foods provide vitamins, minerals and fibre, as well as other non-nutrients that may protect you against cancer heart disease and high blood pressure.

    Choose a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

    • This will reduce your risk of suffering heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure.

    Limit the amount of sugar, salt and caffeine in your diet.

    • Added sugars have no other nutrients; when consumed in excess, they crowd healthier foods out of your diet.
    • Limiting salt will help reduce risk of high blood pressure.
    • Caffeine is a stimulant that speeds up your central nervous system, long term effects can include insomnia, depression, high cholesterol and irregular heart beat.

    Consume alcohol in moderation, if at all.

    • Alcohol supplies calories but few or no nutrients.
    • Drinking alcohol is also the cause of many health problems and accidents, and can lead to addiction.
    • Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as no more than two drinks a day for men, no more than one drink a day for women.
    • Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should avoid alcoholic beverages altogether.

    Remember that healthy eating tastes great.

    • For great interactive tools to help Canadian eat well and live well, go to the Dietitians of Canada website.