Friday, July 27, 2007

HEALTHY EATING HELPS

VEGETABLES AND FRUIT

• Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.

• Choose vegetables and fruit prepared with little or no added fat, sugar or salt.

• Have vegetables and fruit more often than juice.

Vegetables and fruit have important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fibre. They usually are low in fat and calories. A healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruit may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.

Nutrients provided by vegetables and fruit include carbohydrate, vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium and some B vitamins such as folate. The individual nutrients may explain some of the health benefits of eating vegetables and fruit. It is more likely, however, that the nutrients work together with other naturally occurring components in vegetables and fruit to provide the overall health benefit.

The Vegetables and Fruit food group is the most prominent arc in the rainbow on Canada’s Food Guide, emphasizing the important role these foods play in a healthy eating pattern. This food group makes up the largest proportion of the Food Guide Servings in the healthy eating pattern and includes vegetables and fruit in many forms: fresh, frozen, as juice, canned and dried.

Some products with “vegetable” or “fruit” in their names or on their packaging are composed mainly of fat or sugar or are very high in salt. Fruit candies, vegetable chips, fruit jams or spreads, ketchup, as well as vegetable or fruit drinks or punches do not belong in the Vegetables and Fruit food group. People should choose 100% vegetable or fruit juices. Vegetable or fruit “drinks” or “beverages” may contain only a small amount of real vegetable or fruit juice.

To make informed choices, people are encouraged to read labels on packaged foods carefully.

Source Health Canada

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