Nova Scotia has one of the highest rates of obesity in Canada, and healthy eating is part of the solution. Being healthy means adopting a lifestyle built on eating well and being physically active every day.
Moving toward a healthier life begins with what you put on your plate.
Research indicates that our dietary decisions may have the biggest impact on our weight.
When trying to make changes to your diet, don’t bite off too much. Even small changes can make a big difference. Start by becoming more aware of what you are consuming by reading nutrition labels. Small changes, such as reducing sugary beverages, serving smaller portions, having dressings on the side, and adding a fruit or vegetable to each meal and snack, can make a big difference.
Tips for healthy eating:
- Choose whole-grain foods when you can. Not only are they are higher in nutrients, but their extra fibre takes longer to digest and can contribute to you feeling more full, delaying the return of hunger. Enjoy oatmeal or whole-grain cereals for breakfast. Use whole-grain breads, bagels and tortillas for sandwiches and wraps.
- Include vegetables and fruit at every meal. Add berries to cereal, lettuce and tomato to sandwiches, and choose vegetables like carrots and peppers for snacks. Buy more colourful foods, like broccoli, asparagus, peas, spinach, romaine lettuce, carrots, sweet potato and squash. These foods are especially high in nutrients.
- Plan and prepare meals with less fat. Trim the fat from meats and remove the skin from chicken. Limit breaded and deep-fried foods. Make meals that include fish and meat alternatives, such as beans, lentils and tofu, more often.
- Drink water when you are thirsty instead of sugary drinks like pop, juice, sweetened iced tea and sports drinks. Limit coffee and other drinks that are high in caffeine, such as cola. Avoid energy drinks. Caffeine can interfere with your sleep and make you anxious. Other ingredients in energy drinks can be harmful.
- Plan and pack healthy lunches and snacks, such as veggie sticks with hummus or a yogurt dip, or make your own trail mix with a few different whole-grain cereals, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
- Eat when you’re hungry and stop eating when you feel full.