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March is Nutrition Month
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March is National Nutrition Month. Even though some of us have already deviated from those New Year's resolutions we made about eating healthy, there is no more fitting time than now to refocus ourselves to develop sound eating habits. Suitably, Health Canada just issued the revamped Canada's Food Guide which they claim will provide easily accessible dietary guidelines to help Canadians make healthy food choices that "improve health, meet nutrient needs, and reduce risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases and conditions" (1).


One noticeable alternation from the previous guide that makes the new one more user-friendly is the removal of the four food groups and its ever-confusing serving sizes; in turn, the updated guide provides simple guidelines that answer the following questions:


1.       What to eat?

  • Plenty of vegetables and fruits;

  • whole grain foods;

  • variety of protein food such as plant-based proteins, like legumes, beans, and tofu more often than those from animal sources, like dairy, eggs, meat and fish; and 

  • make water your drink of choice.

2.       What to avoid?

In addition to reinforcing the eliminating of processed foods high in sodium and saturated fats, the new guide highly recommends the avoidance of consuming foods or beverages with added sugars. Health Canada highlights that sugary drinks increase the risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and cavities with children (2).

3.       What to do?

  • Be aware of food marketing that influences our choices;

  • cook and prepare meals at home;

  • be mindful of eating habits;

  • enjoy meals together; and

  • choose healthier menu options when eating out.


The above items provide the basis of sound, healthy eating and respect the need to adapt them into our lifestyle. The new Canada's Food Guide is a resource for Canadians understand and apply healthy eating habits into our daily lives. Happy healthy eating!


Article Submitted by Wilzen Ferrer, RN at Newell Associate Clinic


References:

1. Revision process for Canada's food guide. Health Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canada-food-guide/about/revision-process.html

2. Canada's Food Guide. Health Canada: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/