I recommend eating a variety of healthy foods each day. This includes eating plant-based foods more often and choosing highly-processed or ultra-processed foods less often.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been scientifically proven to provide numerous health benefits, such as reducing your risk of several chronic diseases and keeping your body healthy.
If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you’ll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.
A healthy diet will include:
1. Eating lots of vegetables and fruit
- This is one of the most important diet habits. Vegetables and fruit are packed with nutrients (antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber) and help you maintain a healthy weight by keeping you full longer.
- Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit at every meal and snack.
2. Eating protein foods
- Protein foods include legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, fortified soy beverage, fish, shellfish, eggs, poultry, lean red meats including wild game, lower fat milk, lower fat yogurts, lower fat kefir and cheeses lower in fat and sodium.
- Protein helps build and maintain bones, muscles and skin.
- Eat protein every day.
- Try to eat at least two servings of fish each week, and choose plant-based foods more often.
- Dairy products are a great source of protein. Choose lower fat, unflavored options.
- Fill a quarter of your plate with protein foods.
3. Making water your drink of choice
- Water supports health and promotes hydration without adding calories to the diet.
- Sugary drinks including energy drinks, fruit drinks, 100% fruit juice, soft drinks and flavored coffees have lots of sugar and little to no nutritional value. It is easy to drink empty calories without realizing, and this leads to weight gain.
- Avoid fruit juice, even when it is 100% fruit juice. Although fruit juice has some of the benefits of the fruit (vitamins, minerals), it has more sugar than the fruit and less fiber. Fruit juice should not be consumed as alternative to fruits. Canadians should eat their fruits, not drink them.
- When safe drinking water is not available, quench your thirst with coffee, tea, unsweetened lower-fat milk, and previously boiled water.
4. Choosing whole-grain foods
- Whole-grain foods include whole grain bread and crackers, brown or wild rice, quinoa, oatmeal and hulled barley. They are prepared using the entire grain. Whole-grain foods have fiber, protein, and B vitamins to help you stay healthy and full longer.
- Choose whole-grain options instead of processed or refined grains like white bread and pasta.
- Fill a quarter of your plate with whole-grain foods.