A nutritious diet provides adequate nutrients and energy, and it includes only moderate amounts
of foods that are less nutritious. It also includes an appropriate balance of foods and a wide
variety of foods to ensure that many different nutrients are provided.
Reading food labels is a necessary skill when planning a nutritious diet. Food labels must list the
ingredients in a food, in descending order by weight, and include a Nutrition Facts table, the
Nutrition Fact table provides specific information about Calories (kJ), macronutrients, and select
vitamins, minerals, and other components (such as dietary fibre). The % DV is useful to compare
food products or to tell whether the product contains a little or a lot of specific nutrient. Nutrient
content claims, five specific health claims, and product-specific health claims are also allowed.
Eating well with Canada’s Food Guide can be used to plan a nutritious diet – one that provides
adequate nutrients and energy and includes only moderate amounts of foods that are less
nutritious. Following the advice in Canada’s Food Guide will ensure your diet has a wide variety
of foods and an appropriate balance of foods from the four food groups – vegetables and fruits,
grain products; milk and alternatives; and meat and alternatives- depends on your age and sex.
The serving sizes of foods listed Canada’s Food Guide may be smaller than the amounts we
normally eat or are served. Use the interactive tool provided on Health Canada’s website to
create your own customized My Food Guide.
The 5 to 10 a day for better health program and the DASH diet are two examples of healthy food
plans. High fruit and vegetable consumption has been linked to cancer prevention and reduced
risk of heart disease. The DASH diet was designed to reduce blood pressure in people with
hypertension. It is similar to Canada’s Food Guide with an emphasis on vegetables and fruit; it
also is designed to keep sodium intakes to 3000 mg or less each day. The DASH diet has been
shown to significantly decrease blood pressure.
Healthy ways to eat out include choosing menu items that are smaller in size, ordering meats that
are grilled or broiled, avoiding fried foods, choosing items with steamed vegetables, avoiding
energy-rich appetizers and desserts, and eating less than half the food you are served.
A nutritious diet provides adequate energy, nutrients, and fibre to maintain health.
A nutritious diet is moderate in the amounts of foods eaten. Foods that contain a lot of fat and
sugar should be eaten only in moderation to maintain a healthy weight.
A nutritious diet contains the