March 1, 2019

March is Nutrition Month

Spring is around the corner, which means longer days, more sun, and more fresh produce! For nutrition month, take the time to form good eating habits for weight loss or health maintenance, or reinforce the good habits you already have! Take advantage of farmers markets, try new recipes, and make healthy eating a priority this month.

Canada’s Food Guide

A very timely and scientifically backed guide to use no matter what your goals are, Canada’s food guide has undergone a few changes. Dairy and meat products have been deemphasized. Instead, the guide prompts Canadians to choose protein from plant-based sources rather than animal sources. It also recommends that water is the best drink to go with meals rather than milk, juice, or soda. Choosing fresh or frozen whole foods rather than highly processed foods is recommended. It recommends reducing the consumption of excess salt, fat, and sugar, which can lead to problems like high blood pressure and weight gain. The food guide is a simple and effective way to check how many of your meals are healthful and nutritious by using the plate comparison. For more, see Canada’s Food Guide online.

The Skinny on Weight Loss

If you or a loved one are attempting to lose weight, you can enjoy a variety of whole foods in proportions that align with the Canadian food guide. It may be tempting to try out fad diets that make lofty claims but fad diets that require purchasing products or seem nutritionally imbalanced tend not to work; they can also be outright harmful. Fat loss, when done safely, should be at a maximum of 2 pounds per week. Any program that promises faster fat loss may be dangerously strenuous or won’t meet your nutritional needs. Weight loss can interfere with some medical conditions or medications, as many drugs doses are based on weight. Make sure that before you attempt to lose weight, you speak to your health care practitioner.

Planning and Tracking

Planning, preparing, and tracking the foods that you eat is important in monitoring your overall health, but it can be very difficult and time-consuming. Using a food journal or an app like eaTracker or MyPlate can help you choose nutritious foods consistently, and be aware of the quality of foods and calories you are taking in. Planning and preparing meals can be a fun and social activity, and may be an opportunity to try new things. Try gathering your family and friends for a meal preparation week, and make healthful meals ahead of time, or have a recipe theme night centred around new and healthy foods.

Look for some nutritious recipe inspiration!

For more tips, tricks, references, and information, see:

By Hailie Rondeau, RN

ARTACares is provided by HumanaCare, an Alberta-based health and wellness provider with more than thirty-five years of Canadian health care experience.