Food… The potential to prevent!

 March is Nutrition Month and this year the focus is on the Potential of Food. A nutritious diet, along with a healthy lifestyle can help prevent illness and reduce the risk of developing chronic disease.

With so much nutrition information on social media and the internet, it is difficult to know exactly what type of eating pattern is the best to maintain health and prevent disease.

Eating patterns such as the Mediterranean diet, MIND diet and DASH diet have all been researched and shown to help prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes, dementia and high blood pressure respectively.

For each of these diets, the focus is on nutritious, plant based whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. Use the shopping checklist below to help you choose nutritious foods and save time in the grocery store!

Vegetables and Fruit

Note: Choose a variety of colorful vegetables and fruit. They are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

        Leafy green vegetables:

Romaine lettuce,

bok choy, kale,

swiss chard,

collard greens, cabbage,

or spinach

       Carrots, sweet potato, squash

       Sweet bell pepper

       Broccoli

       Cauliflower

       Onion

       Garlic

        Canned tomatoes (no salt)

        Canned corn (no salt)





Fruit

        Berries

        Cantaloupe

        Peaches

        Oranges

        Pears

        Apples

         

         

         

         

 

 

 

Frozen fruits and vegetables are a healthy choice when fresh vegetables or fruit are not in season.

 

Whole Grain Products

Note: Compare labels and choose whole grain foods with a higher fibre content. Look for different grains such as quinoa, buckwheat or millet for new ideas.

 

        Sliced whole grain bread

        Whole grain bagels

        Whole wheat pitas

        Whole wheat tortillas

        Whole grain pasta

        Brown or wild rice

        Oats

        Pot barley

        Quinoa



Packaged breakfast cereals:

Note: Choose cereals that have more than 4 grams of fibre in each serving and the lowest amount of sugar.

 

Milk and Alternatives

Note: Milk and alternatives provide calcium and added vitamin D to help maintain bone health.

        Milk

        Fortified soy beverage (unsweetened)

        Yogurt – plain

       Cheese

Meat Alternatives

Note: Beans, peas and lentils provide us with an excellent source of soluble fibre, protein and carbohydrates. As a source of soluble fibre, they can help reduce elevated cholesterol.

        Canned chick peas (no salt)

        Canned black beans (no salt)

        Red lentils

        Canned lentils

        Canned Kidney beans

 

        Eggs

        Tofu

        Nut Butters

        Nuts and Seeds (unsalted)



 

Fish

Note: Fish is a source of Omega 3 fats that reduce inflammation in our body and help preserve cognitive function. Try to include fish 2-3 times per week in your healthy eating plan!

        Salmon

        Tuna

        Sardines

        Haddock

        Sole



 

Plain Meats

Note: Try to limit the amount of processed meat.

       Chicken

       Turkey

       Lean beef

       Pork

       Lamb

        

 

Check out Dietitians of Canada Cookspiration app or website for new recipe ideas and an online menu planner.

Remember – small changes in the foods we eat over time can help us reach a healthy eating pattern that can maintain good health.

Recipe:

Mexican squash and bean salad

NM2018-Recipe-03MexicanSquashAndBeanSalad-EN

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