A well-balanced diet has many proven health benefits, including improved mood, energy, and an increased ability to concentrate and deal with stress.
What you can do
Healthy eating begins with your attitude, not just your appetite — so think about how you eat, as well as what you eat:
- Plan ahead! Always keep fresh fruit and vegetables on hand for snacking. When you cook at home, you control the ingredients. Farmers markets and grocery stores are your friends!
- When you cook, make enough for a few meals. Pack a healthy lunch whenever possible to avoid less nutritious (often more expensive) fast food.
- Eat when you’re hungry, not because you’re feeling bored, anxious or sad.
- Read nutrition labels and avoid foods high in saturated fats, sugar, salt, or strange chemical ingredients whose names you can’t pronounce.
- Your body needs some fat; enjoy healthy ones, such as olive oil.
- Portion control is important. Enjoy eating the foods you like, all in moderation.
- Don’t eat in front of the TV. You’re less likely recognize when you’ve had enough, so more likely to overeat. Make the preparing and eating of food a time to relax and rejuvenate.
- Your body needs protein, so if you’re not eating meat, make sure you’re getting enough protein from other sources, such as nuts, soy products and legumes.
- Remember that men need 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables and women need 7 to 8 servings.
Check out Canada’s Food Guide for more nutrition information.