Thursday, July 26, 2007




The type of food that people eat is just as important as the amount. Canada’s Food Guide provides direction on specific foods to choose within each food group.

Guidance to direct people’s choices includes:

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

• Have vegetables and fruit more often than juice.

• Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day.

• Drink skim, 1% or 2% milk each day.

• Have meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often.

• Eat at least two Food Guide Servings of fish each week.

• Include a small amount of unsaturated fat each day.

• Satisfy your thirst with water.

In addition, Canada’s Food Guide encourages people to choose foods lower in fat, sugar and salt. Guidance to support these choices includes:

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

• Choose grain products that are lower in fat, sugar or salt.

• Select lower fat milk alternatives.

• Select lean meat and alternatives prepared with little or no added fat or salt.

• Limit foods and beverages high in calories, fat, sugar or salt.

Lower in fat

Canada’s Food Guide encourages people to choose lower fat options to reduce the total amount of fat in their diet and reduce the amount of saturated and trans fats they consume. Higher fat foods are often higher in saturated and trans fats. These kinds of fats put people at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

People should try to limit the amount of saturated and trans fats that they eat. Saturated fats are found in fatty meats, higher fat milk products, butter, lard, shortening, hard margarines and tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil. Trans fats are found in many deep-fried foods, fast foods, salty snacks and baked goods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. People can find the total amount of fat and the amount of saturated and trans fats in food by looking at the Nutrition Facts table on the packaging.

Lower in sugar

Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating foods lower in sugar to help limit extra calories in the diet. Baked goods and desserts, such as cakes, candies, chocolate, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, muffins, pastries and pies, and sweetened cold and hot beverages, such as energy drinks, fruit flavoured drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks, hot chocolate and specialty coffees, can be high in sugar and should be limited.

Lower in salt

Most people get more sodium than they need, especially if they eat packaged, processed foods and meals made outside of the home. Some of the foods that can be high in sodium include snack foods, such as crackers, nachos, potato chips and pretzels, cheese, gravies and sauces, processed luncheon meats, canned or dried soups and frozen meals.

Source: Health Canada


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