Canada 151: Nutritionist Offers 151 Nutrition Tips
By: Julie Mancuso, B.A., R.H.N., JM Nutrition
Happy 151st, Canada! In keeping with the ‘Canada 151 theme’, I compiled a list of 151 nutrition tips to help you be a better, healthier Canadian. Take a look:
1. Celebrate Canada 151 with a glass of dry white wine because it’s low in sugar. How to choose wine and drink it without gaining weight
2. Poultry contains an amino acid called tyrosine, which allows the human body to cope with stress more effectively.
3. Many condiments, dressings and sauces contain sugar. Let the buyer beware.
4. Spinach contains iron, an energy booster.
5. Tryptophan, found in bananas, raises serotonin levels, helping people relax.
6. Use Stevia, a natural sweetener, to sweeten coffee because it has zero calories and zero carbs. It’s also great for weight loss and has a non-glycemic response.
7. Avoid the Canadian summer favourite: iced-cappuccinos. 40 percent of its calories are from fat.
8. Trying to beat the sugar craving? Try almond butter on a date, or a healthier alternative, almond butter on an apple slice.
9. When cooked, chicken releases an amino acid called cysteine, which fights congestion and mucus. Chicken noodle soup is indeed beneficial when you’re sick.
10. Reduce the use of sugar, even in your coffee. Why? Take a look here.
11. Prep meal staples on the weekend and just heat them up during the week. This way you’ll avoid unhealthy food impulse purchases.
12. Sleep deficiency can contribute to sugar cravings, and in turn, weight gain.
13. Brazil nuts contain selenium, which combats anxiety, tiredness and irritability.
14. Eat dark chocolate (70% or higher cocoa value) as it contains iron, magnesium, manganese and fibre.
15. With age, we all need to change our eating habits. We cannot continue to eat like we did in our youth because our metabolism changes.
16. Use a smaller plate to reduce portion sizes. You’ll still get the same satisfaction of finishing a full plate without the extra calories.
17. A 12-ounce (355 ml) Margarita can pack 600+ calories.
19. Beta carotene-rich foods such as carrots and sweet potatoes can help your skin complexion. Nutrition and beauty go hand-in-hand.
20. Chew gum that contains xylitol, a natural sweetener. Xylitol does not allow bacteria to attach to the teeth.
21. Lower your intake of dairy products as they can inflame your system.
22. A good way to start losing weight is to cut back on the portion size of a given food, instead of completely cutting it out of your diet.
23. Reduce your consumption of refined sugar and you shall reap benefits:no raised insulin level, no energy rollercoasters, fewer calories and less belly fat, amongst others.
24. Drink plenty of water daily for hydration, to keep you full and to avoid drinking fewer unhealthy beverages.
25. Use a pan to heat up your food instead of a microwave. A little more time-consuming but much better for you.
26. Try eating sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. The former contain fewer calories, fewer carbs and a lower glycemic index.
27. Vitamin D has been shown to regulate mood and fight depression.
28. Add chia seeds to your meals—for energy, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.
29. Add hemp seeds to your meals—for protein.
30. Consume flax seeds—for fibre, which keeps you full for longer.
31. Avoid or limit Splenda, an artificial sweetener. Try Sweet Leaf Stevia instead.
32. Try gluten-free breads—they’re now much better-tasting than they used to be.
33. Drink a glass of green supplement every morning to top up your vitamin, mineral and nutrient intake. Your body will thank you.
34. Take fish oil daily.
35. Consume zinc because its deficiency impairs the immune system, can result in acne and the thinning of hair.
36. Avoid aspartame. Do I need to elaborate?
37. Nuts and seeds are high-energy, good-fats snacks.
38. Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) contributes to the difficulty of losing weight.
39. Take magnesium before going to bed: it keeps blood pressure normal, it’s great for bone health, it may help relieve premenstrual symptoms, anxiety and migraines. Do you need any other reasons to take it?
40. Make sure you take a high-quality probiotic daily to increase and/or maintain beneficial bacteria in the gut.
41. Share treats and less healthy indulgences such as cake to cut your intake in half, reducing sugar and empty calories while still being able to indulge.
42. See a nutritionist to learn about proper food portions and proportions, to get support and accountability and to help you achieve overall health and wellness. Accountability is the difference maker.
43. Educate yourself on current nutrition, even just a little. A little pro-action can go a long way as a preventative measure.
44. Teach your kids the importance of nutrition because your current eating habits will have a lasting impact on those of your children. Help your children grow up healthy. Snacks for Kids: Healthy vs. Unhealthy
45. Add a slice of lemon to your water to improve taste while avoiding sugar-laden sodas and juices.
46. Take a lysine supplement if you get cold sores. Believe me, it helps.
47. Drink vodka (in moderation, of course) to limit the carbohydrate and calorie intake, and help with weight loss. How to choose healthier alcohol options
48. Try sipping on water with lemon throughout the day to avoid reaching for that can of soda.
49. Never buy energy drinks. They are sugar-bombs. Unless you just ran a marathon and/or are severely dehydrated, give these a pass.
50. Most cereal is high in sugar and contributes to weight gain. The few nutrients and vitamins are negated by the drawbacks.
51. Don’t feed pre-packed lunches with a peelable lid to your kids because they’re loaded with preservatives and sodium.
52. Teach your kids to drink water instead of juice boxes. Why? The vast majority of juice and drink boxes just carry too much sugar.
53. Learn how to read food labels properly: serving sizes, sugar content, carbohydrates portions, etc. It’ll go a long way in helping you stay healthy and lean.
54. Drink green tea for its anti-oxidative properties.
55. Calcium-rich snack: dried fig with tahini.
56. Try substituting regular milk for unsweetened almond or coconut milk in your coffee because the former can cause digestive distress while the latter two are lower in fat.
57. Drink Pukka Detox tea to aid digestion.
58. Take a high-quality Vitamin D, especially in the fall and winter, to help beat seasonal affective disorder.
59. Eat a low-sugar, low-carbohydrate protein bar as a snack instead of a muffin, cookie or high-sugar granola bar.
60. Avoid coolers, sweet wines and heavy cocktails as they are absolute calorie bombs, loaded with spoonfuls of sugar and contribute to weight gain.
61. Eat eggs: contain many nutrients, high-quality protein, low in calories. Read more about eggs.
62. Don’t use bleached flour because it’s treated with chemicals and carries fewer nutrients than unbleached flour.
63. Limit the consumption of gluten because it can act as an inflammatory agent.
64. When eating dinner, stop eating for 20 minutes to see if you’re full, before eating more. It takes your body time to register the feeling of being sated.
65. Lunch idea for weight-loss: wrap the contents of a sandwich in a lettuce or cabbage leaf instead of bread.
66. Eat quinoa regularly because it’s has protein, fibre, magnesium, potassium, manganese and more. It’s also gluten-free and versatile.
67. Avoid hydrogenated oil because it is a trans fat, which raises bad cholesterol.
68. Keep a log of the food you eat, for your yourself and for your nutritionist. Actually seeing the food you’re eating written out before you can lead to self-reflection, which can be an impetus for change.
69. Consume lemons: they have an alkaline effect on the body and contain Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin B6, folate, niacin, et al.
70. Eat broccoli for calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, fibre, Vitamin B6 and many others.
71. Cook at home, so you know exactly what goes into your food.
72. Fermented foods can help to ensure a balance in your digestive system through the introduction of good bacteria.
73. Detox your body after the holiday season indulgences to remove toxins, chemicals and pollutants, and to boost energy.
74. Dip your vegetables in hummus, albeit sparingly, to improve the taste. Hummus contains protein, fibre, iron and B Vitamins.
75. Both blueberries and raspberries are antioxidant in nature.
76. Consume salmon, sardines, anchovy, tuna, mackerel and herring because they contain omega-3s.
77. You can obtain sufficient calcium from leafy greens such as spinach, collard greens, watercress and kale.
78. Consume Vitamin C-rich foods such as oranges, kiwi, papaya, guava and broccoli.
79. Eat pumpkin seeds for zinc and protein.
80. Consume almonds regularly for calcium and essential fats.
81. Eat chicken breast, which is lean and high in protein; it also has zero carbohydrates—making it a great weight loss food.
82. The greener the vegetable, the healthier.
83. Raw onions and garlic can be hard to digest for some people.
84. Eat vegetables because they’re full of water, fibre and antioxidants. They’re also low in calories and carbohydrates.
85. Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids instead of the long-chain ones, which is one of the reasons it is recommended by health practitioners.
86. Avoid whey if you have a sensitivity to dairy.
87. Use extra-virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar as salad dressing. They’re much healthier alternatives to store-bought salad dressing.
88. Don’t believe all health claims (fat-free, contains natural ingredients, added Vitamin C, etc.). These labels are often engulfed in legal technicalities, allowing companies to manipulate the definition and the product itself.
89. White and red beans contain calcium—perfect for those who cannot consume dairy products. Can you get enough calcium from non-dairy foods?
90. Are you bloated or constipated? Do you have gas or abdominal pains? Reduce dairy and gluten first to eliminate them as the cause.
91. Shitake mushrooms have antioxidant properties.
92. Eat whole grains because they’re much lower in sugar and full of fibre.
93. Consume bell peppers because they contain more Vitamin C than most fruits and vegetables.
94. Lend your gut a hand and eat kimchi—for its good bacteria.
95. Do not eat late in the evening, especially just before going to sleep, because your body cannot burn off the calories like it would via normal bodily functions when awake.
96. People often struggle with losing weight because their portion sizes are just too large. Reduce.
97. Drink beer… sparingly… because it is highly caloric. The beer belly is not a myth.
98. Nutrient deficiency can lead to depression.
99. To lose weight, eat fewer carbs. And when you eat carbs, eat the right ones. Avoid refined carbs.
100. Dehydration decreases energy levels.
101. Eating vegetables throughout the day helps to regulate blood sugar level.
102. Dried fruit is very high in sugar. Eat sparingly.
103. Movie popcorn with butter can be a calorie bomb, depending on the quantity. Avoid, if weight loss is your goal. Eat Skinny Pop instead.
104. Avoid foods with a high glycemic index to keep blood sugar level in check.
105. Limit the consumption of soybean products as some studies show they contain estrogens, which may upset hormones.
106. Eat garlic for its antiviral and antifungal properties.
107. Cookie-cutter diets don’t work on certain people because our bodies are made differently. We respond differently to foods. We have different sensitivities. Therefore, we may require a different approach.
108. Corn contains cellulose, which is hard to digest.
109. Probiotics can replenish good bacteria after a round of antibiotics.
110. Exercise does not give you a free ticket to eat unhealthy food because the long-term cumulative harm is difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.
111. If trying to reduce sugar intake, beware of most apple and orange juices because they often teem with sugar.
112. Eat avocados because they contain good fats along with Vitamins E and C.
113. Pepperoni contains 500 calories per 100 g. Eat rarely, if at all.
114. To reduce carbohydrates by 50 percent eat open-faced sandwiches.
115. Healthy snack: cucumber slices and hummus.
116. Dehydration can cause headaches and impair brain function.
117. Ditch sugar-laden granola bars. Replace with a low-sugar protein bar.
118. Oil of oregano has been shown to kill bad bacteria in the gut.
119. Drink a wine spritzer with soda or Perrier instead of cocktails.
120. Foods such as tomatoes, oranges and lemons have been found to increase acid reflux.
121. Because most processed foods lack fibre for proper digestion, they can cause constipation.
122. Beans are high in protein and fibre, but contain a sugar called oligosaccharide that is hard to digest, causing gas.
123. Garlic has been shown to boost the immune system.
124. Avoid bottled salad dressing because it’s often high in sodium, additives, preservatives, fat and sugar.
125. Studies show that Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells, which are instrumental in fighting infections.
126. Raw honey acts an antioxidant and has antimicrobial powers.
127. Kale contains Vitamins A, C and K—more than the 100% of the recommended daily value.
128. Eat oranges for potassium and B vitamins.
129. Take an occasional bite out of a high-quality dark chocolate to prevent fatigue. Chocolate contains iron and magnesium.
130. Complex carbohydrates provide constant energy without spiking your blood sugar.
131. Dieting implies something temporary, a phase. A more healthy, sustainable lifestyle is what you should seek.
132. Eliminating fat altogether is a mistake. Our bodies need good fats to maintain daily functions.
133. Good fats examples: eggs, avocados, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, extra-virgin olive oil.
134. Goat cheese is better for human digestion than cow cheese.
135. A great way to spruce up eggs is to add salsa or avocado.
136. Beware of sodium found in canned foods. It can reach astronomical levels.
137. Avoid fried food because it is highly caloric and contains trans fats.
138. A 5-ounce glass of wine contains 150 calories, on average.
139. Don’t feed processed fruit snacks to your kids: they’re brimming with sugar and/or corn syrup, additives and artificial flavours. Don’t get fooled by the claims of added vitamins.
140. Fermented sauerkraut is incredibly good for you: it carries probiotics and contains various vitamins, minerals and fibre.
141. Looking to reduce your carbohydrates intake? Try a rice cake instead of bread.
142. Almond butter is a healthier, and arguably better-tasting, alternative to peanut butter.
143. Beware of unsuspected calorie bombs such as Caesar salad. All that thick dressing, croutons, cheese and bacon will hit you above the belt.
144. Eating healthy food is not an expensive proposition when we think of all the money we spend on to-go coffee, take-out food and restaurants. We can’t use that as an excuse to buy pre-made, processed, unhealthy food.
145. You don’t need all that Gatorade after most workouts. Don’t believe the ads. The sugar found in it will be much more harmful than the benefit of replenishing electrolytes.
146. Choose light over dark turkey meat because it contains less saturated fat.
147. When trying to lose weight, eat a healthy snack before going to dinner or a party. This way you’re more likely to eat less while there.
148. Eat oatmeal in the morning because it is high in fibre and takes longer to digest. This keeps you full for longer, allowing you to resist drive-through pit stops on the way to work.
149. Drinking sufficient water helps to maintain regular bowel movements and prevents constipation.
150. Food sensitivities can cause skin conditions such as acne, eczema and dermatitis.
151. A portion of protein ranges from the size of your palm to your full open hand.
For more in-depth explanations and extra tips, visit my blog.
Julie Mancuso is a registered holistic Toronto nutritionist who has been counseling clients for over 15 years. Julie’s personalized approach has helped thousands reach their health, wellness and nutrition goals.
Julie’s blog has been named one of the Top 100 Nutrition Blogs, Websites and Newsletters to Follow in 2018 by Feedspot. So don’t miss out and subscribe to both her newsletter and blog.