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:
bok choy, kale,
collard greens, cabbage,
Carrots, sweet potato, squash
Sweet bell pepper
Canned tomatoes (no salt)
Canned corn (no salt)
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
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.
Fortified soy beverage (unsweetened)
Yogurt – plain
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)
Canned Kidney beans
Nuts and Seeds (unsalted)
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!
Note: Try to limit the amount of processed meat.
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.
Mexican squash and bean salad