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The NEW Canada’s Food Guide is here!

Plate

Today, Federal Minister of Health, Ginette Petitapas Taylor launched the new Canada’s Food Guide. The new Food Guide takes a modern approach to communicating guidance to consumers, health professionals and policy makers. This first suite of resources includes a document Canada’s Dietary Guidelines for Health Professionals and Policy Makers, as well as a Food Guide Snapshot.

Here’s just a sampling of what’s new in the Food Guide:

1. Positive key messages for Canadians in a modern format. Key messages are: Eat well. Live well. Eat a variety of healthy foods each day. The new Food Guide delivers healthy eating information in a mobile-friendly web application.

2. Beyond food. Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. The new Food Guide offers advice on what to eat, what not to eat, and how to eat. Tips include cooking more often, eating meals with others, being mindful of your eating habits, enjoying your food, limiting foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat, using food labels, and being aware of food marketing.

3. Food groupings instead of food groups. Bye bye rainbow and the four food groups. A healthy meal is comprised of a variety of foods from three key food groupings: vegetables and fruit; whole grains; and protein foods. These foods should be consumed regularly.

4. Proportions not portions. There are no recommended servings to eat or serving sizes of food. A plate snapshot of the Food Guide gives at-a-glance information on what to eat. In the plate snapshot, 1/2 the plate is filled with vegetables and fruits; ¼ of the plate is comprised of whole grains; and ¼ of the plate is made up of protein foods.

5. Water is the beverage of choice. To help Canadians stay hydrated without adding calories to the diet, water is recommended. Alcoholic beverages are also flagged as potentially adding calories with little to no nutritive value.

The suite of online resources replaces the old “all-in-one” version of the previous Food Guides. More information and recipes are available from Health Canada. Additional consumer resources are expected to be released later this year.

Read about my chat with Canada’s Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor about the new Food Guide.

Sue + Minister of Health Ginette Jan 23 2019 - 1

Dietitians are experts in translating the science of nutrition into practical healthy living messages for Canadians. Contact me for more a presentation or workshop about the new Canada’s Food Guide.

Written by: Sue Mah, MHSc, RD, PHEc – Founder & President, Nutrition Solutions Inc.

Strawberry Santas

Strawberry Santas

Just in time for the holidays! These cuties are super simple to make and sure to put a smile on everyone’s face!

Ingredients
20 fresh strawberries
½ cup whipping cream
¼ cup icing sugar (more if you’d like it sweeter; less if you’d like it less sweet)
40 mini chocolate chips

Directions
1. Slice the stem off each strawberry so that you have a flat bottom. Turn the strawberry point side up. The wide side of the strawberry faces down and is the base of the Strawberry Santa.
2. Slice the pointed tip of each strawberry (about the top 1/3 of the strawberry). This piece will be the hat.
3. Use a small piece of paper towel to dab off the flat ends of each strawberry piece. This will help the icing stay on.
4. In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream and icing sugar.
5. Using a piping bag* with a round tip, pipe a swirl of the icing onto the base of the Strawberry Santa. Gently place the hat on top. Pipe a tiny pompom on the tip of the hat.
6. Add two mini chocolate chips for the eyes.

*If you don’t have a piping bag, simply scoop the icing into a plastic re-sealable bag and cut off a small corner of the bag.

Makes 20 Strawberry Santas

5 Foods to Keep Your Heart Healthy!

Heart healthy foods Feb 20 2017 - Sue L - 1

February is Heart Month! Did you know that 9 out of 10 adults have at least one risk factor for heart disease? The good news is that eating the right foods can keep your heart healthy.

Watch my interview on CTV Your Morning

Whole grains
Barley and oats specifically contain a special type of fibre called beta-glucan. This type of fibre has been shown to lower blood cholesterol which is important since high blood cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. The beneficial amount is 3 grams of beta-glucan fibre which is found in 1 cup of cooked barley or 1½ cups of cooked oatmeal.

Try this recipe – Vegetable, Bean & Barley Stuffed Peppers


Nuts

Research shows that eating about 1.5 to 3.5 servings of nuts 5 times or more per week can also lower the bad LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol. All nuts have high proportions of healthy fats – these are called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – and it’s these fats which help to reduce our cholesterol levels. Nuts are packed with nutrition like protein, vitamin E, selenium, folate and even calcium but the calories do add up, so keep in mind that a portion size is about ¼ cup. One easy way to eat more nuts is to eat them as a snack. Or you can easily add nuts to your oatmeal, in your baking recipes or in a stir-fry.


Soy protein

About 20-25 grams of soy protein helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. Plus soy protein is a great vegetarian protein. To get this amount of soy protein, try any one of these options:
– ¾ cup cooked tofu or
– ¾ cup cooked edamame beans or
– 1 cup fortified soy beverage with ¼ cup roasted soy nuts

Fish
Fatty fish such as salmon, rainbow trout, artic char, mackerel and sardines are super sources of heart healthy omega-3 fats. These omega-3 fats can reduce inflammation and blood clotting. Aim to fish at least twice a week. A serving is 75 g of cooked fish or about the size and thickness of your palm.

Try this recipe – Salmon with Peanut Cucumber Relish

Veggies and Fruit
You can’t go wrong eating more fruit and veggies. Fruit and veggies are superstars for fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which protect us from not just heart disease but other health conditions too such as high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes. As a general rule, try to have 1-2 servings of veggies or fruit at every meal and snack. Or just think of filling half your plate with veggies and fruit at every meal.

Spring clean your kitchen!

Spring is finally here! So I’m rolling up my sleeves to start cleaning out my kitchen and pantry. Here are 10 foods and ingredients that I ALWAYS have on hand:

1. Brown rice. It contains three times more fibre than white rice, plus it’s a whole grain. Other whole grains in my pantry are quinoa and whole wheat couscous.
2. Cinnamon. I’m a big fan of different spices. Cinnamon adds a wonderful hint of flavour to baked squash and French toast.
3. Healthy oils and margarine. In my pantry, I have different oils – Becel® oil for stir-frying and olive oil for grilling veggies. In my fridge, I have soft non-hydrogenated margarine (Becel® is my family’s favourite) – it’s great for cooking and baking.
4. Red lentils. They don’t need soaking and cook quicker than most other dried legumes.
5. Nuts. Filled with good fats, nuts are so versatile and yummy on their own as a snack. Dry roasted, unsalted almonds, peanuts and walnuts are all great choices.
6. Low-fat milk. To help me get enough calcium and vitamin D, I try to cook with low-fat milk whenever I can – in soups, lattes and even risotto.
7. Low-fat Greek yogurt. I make my own smoothies and love that it’s packed with extra protein.
8. Omega-3 enriched eggs. I’m willing to pay a bit more for the extra nutrition – vitamin D, omega-3 fat and lutein.
9. Tofu. I’ve been eating tofu since I was three years old. It’s my go-to protein on vegetarian nights.
10. Veggies and fruit. Here’s just a list of the 20 veggies and fruit that I have in my kitchen this week: apples, oranges, bananas, berries, pears, grapes, cantaloupe, broccoli, bok choy, butternut squash, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, snap peas, sweet potatoes, kohlrabi, kale, mushrooms and zucchini!

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Product Review: New Mott’s Fruitsations + Veggies

I’ve always used applesauce for low-fat baking, and recently I was invited to taste test new Mott’s Fruitsations + Veggies fruit/veggie snacks. Available in two flavour combos (Peach-Apple-Carrot and Cherry-Berry-Carrot), each 111 gram container provides 1 full serving of fruit and vegetables (or, to be exact, 2/3 serving of fruit plus 1/3 serving of vegetables), 60 calories, 0 grams fat, 14 grams carbs, 12 grams sugar, 1 grams fibre, 25% DV for vitamin C, and 6% DV for vitamin A. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture! As a fruit and veggie lover, I won’t ever give up eating fresh apples, peaches, berries and carrots, but the new Mott’s snacks are a nice option to have on hand….and I’ll even try making a batch of muffins with them!

2011 Nutrition Recap

Looking back on the year, here are just a few of my favourite nutrition news and trends from home and abroad.

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