Canadian health experts give advice for Nutrition Month

Mar 4, 2016 | Life

Haley Falco

Canadians eat about 100 meals a month, which means there are 100 chances to make a healthy choice for March’s 30th annual Nutrition Month.

“Take a 100 Meal Journey: Make Small Changes, One Meal at a Time” is this year’s theme, which is meant to encourage nutritious choices and promote quality foods over quantity.

Registered Dietitians across Canada are hosting events during Nutrition Month to encourage healthier eating habits.

Pamela Fergusson, a Toronto Registered Dietitian promotes plant-based food choices and encourages healthy eating methods year-round.

“Nutrition Month comes at the perfect time of year. People get inspired in January to eat healthier, and a few weeks or months later, they find themselves derailed,” Fergusson told Humber News.

Canada’s Food Guide recommends food group serving sizes to ensure Canadians are eating a balanced diet. Adults between 19 and 50 years of age are recommended to eat a minimum of seven fruit and vegetable servings daily.

According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, the fruit and vegetable food group is the most prominent but Canadians aren’t eating enough.

“People try hard sometimes in their own personal way to make healthy choices but the environment and culture that we live in actually makes that pretty hard to do,” Fergusson said. “We’re surrounded by an environment and culture that promotes really unhealthy choices. Almost everywhere you look, there are processed foods.”

Elsa Notarandrea, a Nutritional Consultant in Brantford Ont. celebrates Nutrition Month by doing a four-week detox.

“We eliminate the foods and then reintroduce the foods to see how the body reacts. Sometimes people find a sensitivity to a food that they have taken out and put back in,” Notarandrea said.

“Change one meal at a time. Be good at one meal and then start becoming better at the second meal.”-Elsa Notarandrea, Nutritional Consultant

For a three-week period, her class removes dairy and gluten. For the fourth week of the detox, they begin to eliminate grains and legumes. Eventually they start adding back the foods that were eliminated to see how the body reacts.

“Spring is just around the corner. People are ready to clean their house and their body. You start eliminating what doesn’t serve you anymore,” Notarandrea told Humber News.

Notarandrea believes in taking small steps when trying to improve health.

“Some people want to do so much all at once that they crash. They try to do so much instead of building up to it. Change one meal at a time. Be good at one meal and then start becoming better at the second meal.”