We all know that we need to eat a balanced diet, but how can we ensure that it is balanced? Or how we can keep it balanced without eating the same things day in, day out? I know you promote the “health at every size” approach, but how can I determine what diet is good for me – in giving me the nutrients I need without unwanted sugars, etc.?
The simple answer is Canada’s Food Guide. You can ensure balance by including 3 out of the 4 food groups at your meals and at least 2 food groups with your snacks. There are tons of options for what you can include within each of the 4 food groups, variety is key. You absolutely do not have to eat the same thing every day. In fact, you might want to create your own personalized version of the food guide, check out My Food Guide on the Health Canada site.
The diet that is good for you is listed in Canada’s Food Guide. It has the recommended servings listed for your age group and sex. All of the science that happens in nutrition is translated into this consumer friendly tool. In fact, when the food guide was developed they test many different combinations of foods to ensure your macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, fat) and micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) are met with the recommendations.
And as for the ingredients we want to limit such as sugar, salt and fat you will see specific advice for that in Canada’s Food Guide as well. As British Columbians we know that we are eating about a quarter of our daily intake from foods that do not fit in the Food Guide. These could be things like pastries, chips, candy, cookies salty snack or sweetened drinks. I often advise individuals to replace those not so nutritious choices with ones from the 4 Food Groups from Canada’s Food Guide.
Hope that helps!