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The Dish

The Dish

With SFU's Registered Dietitian

Archive for the 'Nutrition labelling' Category

Topic of the Month: June 2011 – Making your way through the menu maze

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Making your way through the menu maze

A couple of weeks ago I took my 5 year old nephew and 2 year old niece out for a day with their aunt. We had a great time at Maplewood Farm but when it was time for lunch I didn’t have a plan, so we resorted to the nearest fast food restaurant. It was easy and quick but not the most nutritious choice of course. I felt like a parent (just for that afternoon) and thought about what could I have done to make a healthier choice for their lunch. It seems to be a challenge many parents are facing. The ideal would be to pack a lunch from home where you control the ingredients and nutrition. If you can’t do the whole lunch, try some wholesome snacks as a way to balance a fast food meal.  I packed carrots so we could feed the rabbits that day, should have done the same for us.

Use this Cool Lunch Guide from Dietitians of Canada to help make the most of your lunches.

Check out this article from the Vancouver Sun, “Making your way through the menu maze”. Thanks to Randy Shore for the interview.

Topic of the Month – January 2011: Percent Daily Value (%DV)

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Percent Daily Value (%DV)

I get asked about percent daily value a lot. If you don’t know what I am referring to it is the percentages that are on the right hand side of a nutrition facts table. I am sure a few of you out there are avid label readers. The first thing I have to say is many great food choices come without a nutrition facts label, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of meat or fresh fish and freshly baked whole grain breads.  Secondly, it is a good idea to read the ingredient list of processed foods. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient names then it’s probably a good idea to put the item back. Then you can proceed to the nutrition facts table and comparing it to other similar products. Remember to look at the amount of food and make sure you are making a fair comparison, some brands of bread will have 1 slice listed as the serving size while others have 2. The percent daily value can help you identify if the product has “a little” or “a lot” of certain nutrients. You want to get more fiber, Vitamin A, Calcium and Iron but less fat, saturated and trans fats and sodium. Health Canada just launched a new website to help consumers further understand labels and the percent daily value. It includes some interactive tools as well, check it out www.healthcanada.gc.ca/dailyvalue .