Make Healthy Food Choices
It can be challenging to navigate the maze of food choices available to us today. It sometimes seems even healthy food is loaded with extra calories. More info →
Video: What’s the Best Diet?
Healthy Eating 101 with Dr. Mike Evans
Dr. Mike Evans is a former staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, and an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. He encourages you to think differently about what you eat, practise mindful eating, move more and be happy.
Balancing Your Food Plate
The US government’s MyPlate resource has the proper amounts of food, focusing on each meal’s variety, amount, and nutrition. Healthy eating is essential in managing or preventing chronic disease and enjoying a better quality of life. Use MyPlate to help create a healthy eating routine and lifestyle. Choose a variety of foods that are rich in nutrients. Remember that the amount of food you should consume from the five food groups varies daily. Your sex, age, and level of activity all determine your portions. Talk to your doctor about your diet. They can make suggestions based on your health and your conditions. Specific programs and apps can help you track your food intake. Some will balance your food intake with your exercise output.
Five food groups make up MyPlate.
- Vegetables: an average of 2.5 cups of vegetables each day. Your intake can include many forms of vegetables, as well as 100% vegetable juice. The five subgroups of vegetables are:
- Dark green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli or spinach.
- Red and orange vegetables, such as carrots and tomatoes.
- Starchy vegetables, such as corn.
- Beans and peas.
- Fruits: An average of 1.5 cups of fruits each day. You can include many forms of fruits, as well as 100% fruit juice.
- Grains: An average of 6-ounce equivalents of grains each day. An example of a 1-ounce equivalent is one slice of bread or 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta. There are two subgroups of grains based on the nutrients they contain.
- Whole grains are made with the whole grain kernel. At least half of the grains you consume daily should be whole grains. Examples include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, and brown rice.
- Refined grains are milled and have fewer nutrients. Some products, however, may be “enriched.” This means specific vitamins are added back in. Enriched foods are better for you. Examples include white flour, white rice, and white bread.
- Proteins: are an average of 5-ounce equivalents of protein each day. An example of a 1-ounce equivalent is 1 ounce of cooked meat, one egg, or one piece of deli sliced meat. You should eat a variety of proteins, which can include:
- red meat
- nuts and seeds
- soy products
- beans and peas
- Dairy: an average of 3 cups of dairy each day. Your intake can include milk or products that contain milk and its nutrients. For example, cheese is a form of dairy, but butter is not. Try to eat or drink low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
Oils are not counted as a food group on MyPlate. However, they do contain nutrients. Be sure to only consume them in limited portions. Consume an average of 5 teaspoons of oils each day. There are a variety of oils made from different plants and nuts, as well as fish. Solid fats, such as butter or chicken fat, often are made from animal foods. Oils and fats can include both good and bad fats. More info on MyPlate →