What You Need to Know About Good Nutrition

In order to be healthy, you need to live healthy. This means engaging in regular physical activity as well as consuming well-balanced meals and avoiding things like trans fats and sugar. Having a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your health as this will combat and prevent certain illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and even cancer – and can also help you lose and maintain and healthy weight.

When it comes to good nutrition, you should be eating a variety of foods from the different types of food groups per Canada’s Food Guide. These 5 food groups consist of the following:

Vegetables and Fruit (7 to 8 servings per day)
Grain Products (6 to 7 servings per day)
Milk and Alternatives (2 to 3 servings per day)
Meat and Alternatives (2 to 3 servings per day)

Vegetables and Fruit
Dark, leafy green or orange vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes.

Grain Products
Quinoa, brown rice, barley, oats, whole grain breads.

Milk and Alternatives
Skim milk, 1% milk, 2% milk, fortified soy beverages.

Meat and Alternatives
Skinless chicken, salmon, mackerel, trout.

Per the Canadian Food Guide, Dr. Ali Ghahary also recommends avoiding and/or limiting foods and beverages that are high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium (salt.) Examples of these foods include chocolate, granola bars, candy, cakes, pastries, donuts, muffins, frozen desserts (such as ice cream), potato chips, nacho chips, French fries, fruit flavoured drinks, soda, sports and energy drinks, and alcohol.

Nutrition and health also varies based on age. For example, children have smaller appetites than adults and therefore require calories to help them grow and develop. Just as adults would, children should also eat a variety of foods from the 4 different food groups, but in smaller portions. When it comes to giving your child a snack, also make sure it’s healthy – for example, fresh fruit. Women should also eat a healthy diet, especially if they are pregnant and breastfeeding – consuming a multivitamin that contains both folic acid and iron is beneficial, and you should also include a few extra servings from each food group in your diet. For those over the age of 50, it’s also recommended that you take a daily vitamin D supplement in addition to following Canada’s Food Guide.

Canada's Food Guide