Tips to eat well every day
The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s (HSF) registered dietitians help you and your family eat well each day:
1 Planning makes perfect
Plan meals and snacks well in advance; check cupboards and make a list. Stick to your list when shopping. This will ensure you have everything to get you through a healthy and delicious week.
2 Shop your plan wisely
Spend most of your time in the grocery store's outer aisles. Load up on fresh vegetables and fruits, choose a variety of colours. Look for bread products that are a source of fibre, made with whole grains. Choose fish and meat alternatives more often, along with unseasoned, lean cuts of meat. From the inner aisles, add whole wheat pasta and brown rice to your cart.
3 Read the nutrition facts
The Serving Size shows how many calories and nutrients are in a specific amount of food, such as a slice of bread or one cup of cereal. The % Daily Value (%DV) shows if there is a little or a lot of a nutrient. Look for a higher %DV for nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, calcium and iron, and a lower %DV for fat, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.
4 Check for Health Check™
Health Check is one important way the HSF helps Canadians eat well by identifying grocery products and restaurant menu items that can fit into an overall healthy diet based on CFG. All Health Check items have met nutrient criteria developed by HSF’s registered dietitians. Health Check works directly with food companies and restaurants by challenging them to meet stronger nutrient criteria to offer Canadians more healthy choices.
Is sodium bad for health?
A: Sodium is a compound found in salt and we need small amounts each day, however, most Canadians are getting too much,increasing the risk for high blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is the leading risk for death in the world, the number one risk factor for stroke and a major risk for heart disease.
What is a healthy daily amount of sodium?
A: Adults should consume between 1,200 to 2,300 mg each day (one half to one teaspoon) whether from the salt shaker on the table, or the salt found in processed and packaged foods or in restaurant foods.
How can salt intake be lowered?
A: Proven ways to cut down on sodium:
- Choose more fresh foods; cook meals from scratch instead of relying on prepared and processed foods
- Buy prepared foods lower in sodium claiming: ‘low sodium’, ‘sodium reduced’ or ‘no salt added’; refer to the Nutrition Facts table on packages. The %DV will help you understand if a food has a little or a lot of sodium
- Reduce salt when cooking, baking or at the table. Instead, season food with herbs, lemon, salt-free spices, garlic and onion.
Making sense of cholesterol
Considering that high blood cholesterol
is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, lowering your cholesterol can dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood promotes the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) helps carry the bad (LDL) cholesterol away from your artery walls.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation
offers the following tips to help control cholesterol:
- Eat a variety of foods from each food group, according to CFG
- Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit; canned and frozen produce with little or no added fat, salt or sugar
- Choose meat alternatives (beans, lentils and tofu) and fish (char, mackerel, rainbow trout and salmon) more often
- Meats and poultry should be lean and portions small
- Choose lower-fat dairy products
- Use lower-fat cooking methods such as baking, broiling or steaming. Avoid fried foods
- Include a small amount of unsaturated fat in your diet each day. Limit saturated fat and avoid trans fat
- Get physically active at least 30 minutes daily, most days of the week, to improve good cholesterol levels
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Limit alcohol intake
- Be smoke-free.