Nutrition month; Interior Health makes push for healthier eating

By Tanya Cronin
March 15, 2016 - 4:31pm Updated: March 15, 2016 - 5:36pm

KAMLOOPS — March is Nutrition Month, a good time to stop and take stock of your relationship with food. Most of us have never considered we even have a relationship with food, let alone wonder about how ours is progressing. But this month, dietitians across the country are joining forces to encourage Canadians to make small, meaningful changes to their daily nutrition. It's called the '100 Meal Journey' aimed at boosting your health and help you feel your best.

WATCH: Full story by Reporter Tanya Cronin
 

It's often tempting to reach for a juicy burger and fries, instead of a carrot stick or a piece of fruit. But you might want to think twice. Those foods difficult to resist, could actually be threatening your health.

"Heart health, the health of your veins, blood vessels, blood sugar control, weight as well, these are all things that our bodies react to the foods we're eating," says Nadine Baerg, Public Health Dietitian.

Adjusting to a heathy diet can improve every aspect of your life. So this month, Interior Health experts are encouraging everyone to make changes to their eating habits. It's all part of a national campaign, starting small, and taking it one meal at a time.

"The focus is the 100 Meal Journey, the basis of that is most of us eat 100 meals throughout the month and making big changes can be overwhelming, but if you focus on one or two small changes and you have 100 opportunities to do that, it seems so much more manageable."

Healthy eating begins with the choices you make at the grocery store, if you don't buy it, you won't eat it. Dietitians recommend you create a shopping list and stick to it, skip foods high in sugar, sodium and trans fats. 

"Focus more on when we go into the grocery store, the outside perimeter, the meat and alternatives, dairy and alternatives, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and stay away from the processed interior."
    
Make your meals at home, eat fruits and vegetables more often, and control how much you consume.

"Having water on your desk instead of a sugary or creamy drink, in your fridge having eye level vegetables or healthy snacks that are already prepared and ready to munch on, having those sugary treats or higher calorie foods at the back of the pantry."

A diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, beans, lentils and whole grains, is best. But it's not just food affecting our health. Many people are drinking their calories as well, which can often be even worse.    

"In a slurpee, which you think is okay to have on a hot day, what people don't realize is that it has 24 teaspoons of sugar in it."

It's not always easy to switch to a healthier lifestyle, but it is possible. Experts say don't obsess about the numbers on the scale, instead alter the way you think, and make that investment in your quality of life. 

"Habits are really hard to change and food is something that's personal, something we're not ready to change yet, it's figuring out what is beneficial for my health, what's manageable and how am I going to do this and manage the roadblocks that will come up," says Baerg.

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