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Healthy Eating means a positive approach to food and eating instead of a preoccupation with weight and dieting. Healthy eating coupled with physical activity leads to greater body acceptance and confidence.(19) Being healthy and feeling good is what it’s all about!

 

 Benefits of Healthy Eating
  • More than one-third of cancers are attributable to a poor diet, unhealthy body weight, and physical inactivity. These cancers can be prevented by eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, being physically active and maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Risk for osteoporosis can be prevented or improved with lifelong adequate intakes of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Risk for Type 2 diabetes is reduced by achieving a healthy weight through healthy eating and physical activity. 

  • Risk for heart disease and stroke is reduced by having a healthy weight and making healthy food choices by choosing foods lower in fat and high in fibre, a high intake of fruits and vegetables and limiting salt.

 

 Dieting Doesn't Work
  • Dieting does not change long-term eating patterns and as a result, the weight usually comes back. 

  • Calorie restriction without exercise causes a loss of muscle which may be responsible for a drop in metabolic rate and the typical post-dieting weight rebound.

  • Repeated dieting depresses mood and increases body dissatisfaction.

  • Blood pressure may increase significantly during relapse to obesity.

  • Dieting is linked to low intakes of calcium, fibre, fruits and vegetables which are necessary for good health.

 

Protect Yourself - Add it Up!
  • Call or click Health Connection (see bottom of page) to get your copy of “Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide” and eat the recommended amount and type of food for your age and gender each day. 

  • Emphasize vegetables and fruit prepared with little or no added fat, sugar, or salt. Include at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.

  • Eat a variety of grain products that are lower in fat, sugar or salt, and make at least half of your choices whole grains.

  • Drink 2 glasses of skim, 1% or 2% milk daily, or drink a fortified soy beverage. Select lower fat milk alternatives and use the Nutrition Facts table on yogurt and cheeses to make wise choices.

  • Select lean meat and alternatives prepared with little or no added fat or salt. Have meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often, and at least two Food Guide Servings of fish each week.

  • Include a small amount of unsaturated fat each day including oil used in cooking, salad dressings, margarine and mayonnaise. Limit butter, hard margarine, lard and shortening.

  • Satisfy your thirst with water.

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

  • Be active every day.

 

 The Bad News
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death for Canadian men and women ages 35-84 years old.
  • Heart disease is the second leading cause of death for Canadian men and women ages 45-84 years old.

  • Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 90% of all cases of diabetes.  

  • At least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime. 

  • In 2010 in Simcoe Muskoka, 73.4% of males ages 18 and above reported that they were overweight or obese and 45% of females the same age reported being overweight or obese.

  • According to parents’ reports, the majority of Grade 1 children in Simcoe County may not be meeting the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide. 

  

 

Eat Right Ontario's Ask a Dietitian service (no charge) allows you and your patients to ask questions directly to a registered dietitian. Call 1-877-510-5102 or email at Eat Right Ontario.ca.

 

For more information on healthy eating and healthy weights, check out our Healthy Weights topic page.  

 

Click here for resources (posters).

 

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