Food that contains high amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat should be eaten to the full extent, a new report says.
The Food Institute of Canada says eating healthy foods at a variety of times throughout the day helps manage the body’s nutritional needs.
The report, The Healthy Eating Diet for Life, also says eating in moderation is key to managing blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, while avoiding excessive salt intake.
The Institute’s director of health nutrition, Jennifer DeWitt, says people need to eat at least one serving of a healthy food every day.
She says it’s important to remember, even though the average American diet contains more than twice as much protein as a Canadian one, there is still enough protein in the food to keep people in good health.
DeWitt says there is a need for a healthy lifestyle to meet the health needs of an ageing population.
“The American diet is a very low-calorie diet and there’s so much protein in it, you have to eat a lot of protein to keep the body healthy,” DeWatt said.
DeWett says a healthy diet should include a variety, which means not only the protein that you need but also other nutrients, like fibre.
“So if you have a lot more fibre in your diet, then you’re actually going to have more protein in your blood,” DeWett said.
“And that means your risk of type 2 diabetes, your risk for heart disease, is going to be much lower.”
Health Canada says the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) set a daily limit for total protein, fat and carbohydrates in the American diet.
“A diet high in protein, high in fat and low in carbohydrates is recommended to meet all of the following criteria,” the guidelines state.
The institute recommends the following food choices for healthy eating:Lean ground meat, such as pork, lamb or beef, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs and fish-based foods, like fish-filled puddings, biscuits, pasta, breads and cakes.
Sour cream, milk and ice cream.
Soups, stews, stews, pasta sauces and desserts.
Beans, lentils, beans and peas.
Herbs, spices, spices and herbs.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans.
Steak, fish and poultry.
Olive oil, peanut oil, olive oil, soy oil and sesame oil.
Omelets, pastries, cakes, cookies and muffins.
Breakfast cereals, like cereal bars, granola bars and brownies.
Pasta, pasta sauce, soups and salads.
Soft drink mixes and syrups.
Fruit juices and juices containing more than 3% fruit juice concentrate.
Mushrooms, basil and garlic.
Eating out often isn’t healthy, but eating regularly and sticking to a healthy eating plan is, DeWett says.
“One of the things that I see with the American people is a lot, I think, of over-consumption of processed foods, but we also see that a lot people are really focusing on protein and they’re eating the right amount of carbohydrates and a lot is in the diet, and I think that’s a great thing,” she said.
The government is looking into the idea of a healthier diet, which it says can be made with the right foods, and can be consumed at a lower calorie level.