Frequently Asked Questions
Check with your current insurance provider if nutrition counseling by a Registered Dietitian is covered. If not save your receipt for a non-refundable tax credit. In the province of Ontario, Registered Dietitians are classified as an “Authorized Medical Practitioner” for claiming of medical expenses (www.cra.gc.ca) .
Please see this article.
Cow’s milk contains various nutrients, vitamins and minerals that may not be found in the beverages mentioned above. Health Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating recommends fortified soy beverage as an adequate alternative to cow’s milk. The beverages mentioned above are usually much lower in protein and may not be fortified with calcium and vitamins A and D. Read the label to make sure!
Canned white tuna contain larger species of fish known as albacore tuna. Canned light tuna usually contains smaller fish such as yellow fin or skipjack tuna. Health Canada recommends for pregnant and/or breastfeeding women as well as children under the age of 11 to limit the amount of white tuna consumed due to its possible higher mercury content. Check out this article for more details.
Do you remember growing up and watching someone in your family always shaking some salt on their food even before tasting it? We did not know back then what we know now, yet elevated amounts of sodium in the diet can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
Salt is made up of sodium and chloride. It is the sodium in the table salt that can be harmful to our health when consumed in large quantities. So what are large quantities you ask? Research tells us that an adequate intake is 1500mg (or less) for adults a day to a maximum of 2300mg (~1 teaspoon of salt) a day.
However, sodium is not just found in the salt shaker! Many processed, prepackaged foods contain sodium for shelf life and flavor enhancing properties. Be careful and read the label. A nice rule of thumb when reading labels is if the product contains (per portion):
- 200mg or less it is LOW in sodium
- 200mg-400mg MEDIUM
- >400mg HIGH
For more information on tips, iPhone apps check out: http://www.sodium101.ca/
“Organic” is a government regulated term that can be used only if the product has gone through specific requirements that meet strict organic farming standards. The word “natural” is a non-regulated term and can be misleading at times. “Natural” is usually used when referring to the processing method after harvesting and not the growing method itself. You may see words attached to “natural” claims such as “free of added colors or preservatives”. As of June 2009 mandatory guidelines have been put into place to have an “organic” label on food packaging.
Greek yogurt is thick and creamy. How does it get this way? Greek yogurt and regular yogurt are made from heating milk and fermenting it with live bacterial cultures. But Greek yogurt is then strained through a filter or cheesecloth. This process separates and removes the “whey” liquid resulting in a thick cheese like texture. The whey (which is not kept) contains the lactose (milk sugar). Therefore, plain Greek yogurt is a low in sugar yet high in protein. Greek yogurt is 2x as high in protein than regular yogurt.
Let’s start off with what these are. Plant sterols are naturally found in vegetable oils, fruits, nuts, vegetables, pulses and whole grains. They have been found to interfere with cholesterol absorption in the small intestine and therefore lower “LDL” (bad) cholesterol for people with elevated cholesterol levels.
As of May 2010 they have been approved to be added to certain foods such as yogurt drinks, juices, margarine, spreads and salad dressings. Studies show that consuming 2 grams of plant sterols per day can help to lower your cholesterol by up to 9%!
Eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables can give you some plant sterols but it would take many unrealistic servings to get to the recommended 2g/day. Here are some fortified foods containing plant sterols:
- Becel ProActiv™ margarine = 0.8g per 2 tsp. serving
- Astro BioBest™ with plant sterols = 1g per 100g container
- Danone Danacol™ = 1g per 80ml serving
- Oasis CholestPrevent™ drink = 1g/250ml serving
AIM FOR VARIETY!
Kaniwa is the new quinoa! It is quinoa’s cousin actually but does not need to rinsed like quinoa as it does not contain the bitter saponin residue. It is very similar in nutritional properties to quinoa yet it is a smaller grain. It is rich in protein (slightly higher than quinoa), calcium, iron, it is gluten free and rich in soluble fiber!Add 1 cup of kaniwa to ~1 ½ -2 cups of liquid (water or low sodium broth) simmer for 15 minutes, let cool and enjoy!
For great quinoa or kaniwa recipes check out the cookbook, Quinoa 365
Mom was right, eat your breakfast! Studies show that people who do eat breakfast have better control of their weight and have more energy throughout the day. Breakfast cereals are a great way to kick start your day; unfortunately many cereals in today’s market contain as much sugar as eating a chocolate bar! So what breakfast cereals should you be choosing you ask. My advice is to aim for cereals packed with 100% whole grains and fiber. Per serving look for options with >4g of fiber and <8g of sugar. Here are a few options that meet this criteria:
- All Bran™, Original/Buds/Medley
- Alpen™ Muesli
- Shredded Wheat™
- Kashi™, Sunshine/GoLean™
- Nature’s Path™, FlaxPlus™ Multibran/Crunchy Maple Sunrise
- Mom’s Healthy Secret™, Omega Active™
Vitamin D supplement is essential for babies that are being breastfed exclusively.