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Food and Nutrition

Foods to Limit

Canada's Food Guide

A first step towards good health and healthy body weight is to follow Canada's Food Guide by:

  • Eating the recommended amount and types of food each day; and
  • Limiting foods and beverages high in calories, fat, sugar or salt (sodium).

Examples of foods and beverages that are often high in calories, fat, sugar or salt (sodium) are:

  • Cakes and pastries
  • Cookies and granola bars
  • Ice cream and frozen desserts
  • Chocolate and candies
  • Doughnuts and muffins
  • French fries
  • Nachos
  • Potato chips
  • Alcohol
  • Fruit flavoured drinks
  • Soft drinks
  • Sports and energy drinks
  • Sweetened hot or cold drinks

Ideas for healthy alternatives to foods and beverages high in calories, fat sugar or salt

Instead of...

Cakes and pastries
Try fruit with yogurt, a baked apple with cinnamon or graham crackers to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Cookies and granola bars
Try plain popcorn with a sprinkling of herbs.
Ice cream and frozen desserts
Try freezing yogurt in a popsicle tray.
Doughnuts
Try making your own high fibre, low fat muffins or bagels.
French fries
Try baking strips of potato or sweet potatoes in your oven with a small amount of oil and herbs and spices.
Nachos
Use a small amount of cheese (1½ oz.) and melt on rye crisps or home made baked pitas. Count this towards your recommended number of Food Guide Servings of Milk and Alternatives and Grain Products.
Potato chips
Choose plain popcorn or home made baked pitas.
Fruit flavoured drinks
Add lemon, lime or cucumber to your water or choose milk, fortified soy beverage or 100% juice.
Sports and energy drinks
Have water, it usually does the trick.

If you want something...

Salty
Try adding garlic or herbs.
Crunchy
Have some plain popcorn, vegetable sticks or breadsticks with hummus.
Creamy
Have a bowl of low fat yogurt.
Sweet
Try a fruit salad.
Thirst quenching
Drink water with a wedge of lemon or lime.

Take a step today... towards eating well

Look at these tips to get ideas on ways to eat well everyday. You don't have to try them all at once. Try one of the tips below, or one of your own, each month over the next year and see what a difference a small change can make.

  • Have breakfast every day. It may help control your hunger later in the day.
  • Benefit from eating vegetables and fruit at all meals and as snacks.
  • Use the Nutrition Facts table on food labels to find the amount of calories or nutrients in the stated amount of food. Choose products that contain less fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and sodium (salt). Select products with more fibre.
  • When eating out, order smaller portions or share with a friend. Request nutrition information about the menu items to help you make healthier choices.
  • Enjoy eating with family and friends.
  • Take time to eat and savour every bite.
  • Spread your meals throughout the day to keep you energized and satisfied. Avoid skipping meals which may cause you to eat more than you need later in the day.
  • Drink water to satisfy your thirst and limit your intake of high calorie sweetened beverages.
  • Snack smartly. Follow your hunger cues and choose foods from one of the four food groups.
  • Balance your eating with your daily physical activities. If you are very active choose additional foods from the four food groups to satisfy your extra calorie needs.

Learn about making informed food choices with food labels by completing the Interactive Nutrition Label and Quiz.

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