We eat food not individual nutrients…
It’s back to school, back to work and back to routine. Having a plan to aim for when it comes to your meals can really help ensure you eat well every day and not just here and there. There is so much focus on individual nutrients these days; don’t eat sugar, get more protein and cut back on salt. The problem is, we don’t eat individual nutrients, we eat food. We need to focus on our eating patterns, the way we eat and the selection of foods we include as staples. Adopt a healthy dietary pattern such as the Mediterranean diet or Dash Diet which emphasize fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts and seeds, legumes lean meats, dairy and vegetable oils and plan meals based on these foods.
Breakfast foods can include whole grain cereals or toast and protein foods such as eggs or nut butters. What is often missed due to rushed mornings is the piece of fruit. Vitamin C in fruits and vegetables helps the body absorb the iron in fortified breakfast cereals, nuts and egg yolk. Including a glass of 100% pure fruit and vegetable juice, like Daily Squeeze by Happy Planet, as part of a healthy breakfast not only provides nutrients but is also a convenient and doable way to get 2-3 more servings of fruits and vegetables for every member of the family. For kids keep the serving to ½ cup per day. If you have juice at breakfast, leave the juice box at home for lunch and stick to a water bottle and whole fruits and vegetables.
It has been suggested that Health Canada will remove fruit juice from the Food Guide due to its’ sugar content. It is important to remember that it is not one food that causes diabetes or obesity it is the whole dietary pattern. When you look at your dietary pattern, try to identify the main sources of pure sugar and refined carbohydrates that come without added nutrients such as cookies, refined crackers, cakes, candy and sugar sweetened beverages like vitamin waters and fruit punch or pop. These are the main foods to limit or avoid and replace them with healthy snacks such as smoothies, trail mix or fruit.