EVERY DAY HEALTHY EATING
Healthy eating is about more than the foods that we take in, it is about making the healthy choice the easy choice where we live, work & play. Planning meals and cooking at home, rather than eating out or using convenience foods can increase protein, fibre and nutrients.
Being mindful while eating can help us enjoy food more and is an important step towards healthy eating. Eating healthy can decrease our risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Health Condition Specific Information
Choose from one of the health conditions below to see how lifestyle choices can impact your risk of developing that health condition.
Does HEALTHY EATING really help?
- Adopting a diet high in vegetables and fruits may reduce the risk of a variety of cancers, including bladder, colorectal, esophageal, liver, lung, pancreas, and stomach.12
- Eating an additional serving of vegetables or fruits can lower the risk of heart disease by 4%.7
MAKE YOUR PLATE HEALTHY!
Whether sitting down for a family meal or packing a lunch, putting a healthy meal together is easier than you may think.
Select an item on the plate and learn how to create a balanced meal.
*Serving size based on recommended of food guide servings per day for females and males 19-50.
CANADA’S FOOD GUIDE
Everything we eat and drink matters and will affect our health in the future. Health Canada has set guidelines to help Canadians eat a diet that helps them to be their healthiest, which helps reduce their risk of chronic diseases. The guide covers what to choose, how much to eat and how to prepare the foods. It also groups foods by the different nutrients they provide, and the types and amounts of foods that are needed for healthy living.
Download your copy of Canada's Food Guide.
LEARNING A BETTER WAY TO EAT
- Eat vegetables and/or fruits at every meal.
- Choose fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks.
- Eat foods high in fibre like whole grains, vegetables, and fruit.
- Drink water and avoid sugary drinks such as pop. Here are some tips for choosing healthy drinks.
- Downsize portions to manage a healthy weight.
- Eat lean meats, poultry, fish and meat alternatives such as tofu and pulses (beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas).
- Limit processed meats.
- Include small amounts of healthy fats such as vegetable oils, avocados and nuts; avoid trans fats.
- Eat fewer processed and packaged foods, which often contain too much sodium, fat and/or sugar.
- Eat out less. A healthy meal can take less than 30 minutes to prepare.
- Slow down and enjoy your meal. Eat with others and turn off distractions like phones or a TV if they are present.
Cost is something you may think about when you spend money on food. The best way to cut down on your food bill is to eat out less often.
To save money while making healthy food choices see the Tips to Spend Less Money on Food handout. If you lack income to meet basic needs you may find the tips in this handout less helpful, as many of the suggestions may require access to financial or other resources that may be limited for you. If you are experiencing difficulty making ends meet, go to ab.211.ca or talk to your healthcare provider for more information on financial and community resources that may assist you.
TRENDS AND FADS
When it comes to eating healthy, there aren’t any shortcuts. For all the talk of celebrity diets and "superfoods", it’s more important to stick to the fundamentals of eating healthy. Most fad diets take things to an extreme, don't actually work and may be harmful in the long run. Experts already agree that no one food will suddenly change your health. Eating healthy is a lifelong habit, which may take some time to develop. Take it one small change at a time and make it part of your everyday life.