Food for thought

Tips to overcome your healthy-eating hurdles

You may know that eating more fruits and vegetables can help prevent cancer and that reeling in fish for dinner may lower your Alzheimer’s risk. But if you’re like most women, you’re probably thinking, “Yeah, yeah, but I’m too busy to prepare a 17-vegetable fish stew tonight.” Lack of time, fear of packing on pounds and limited cooking skills are some of the biggest nutrition challenges Canadian women face today, according to a 2003 survey conducted by the Dietitians of Canada, The Dairy Farmers of Canada and Kraft Canada. In honour of March being Nutrition Month, here are some ideas to help you overcome those healthy-eating hurdles.

Healthy-eating hurdle #1: I don’t know whether I’m eating well or not!

Fill-out the nutrition portion of our How-healthy-are-you quiz for a healthy-eating score out of 10, and get guidance on the number of servings from each food group that you should be eating every day.

Healthy-eating hurdle #2: I don’t have time!

Pre-washed baby carrots, fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and a fast-food bean burrito (sans sour cream) are all great food choices that require no prep at all. Or, if you have two minutes, make whole wheat toast and a boiled egg. One egg delivers vitamin A, B and D and has only 1.5 grams of saturated fat. For more fast and healthy ideas, try our Low-fat meal plan and our Heart-healthy meal plan.

Healthy-eating hurdle #3: I’m afraid of gaining weight!

More and more studies indicate that eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and calcium-rich dairy products actually helps maintain a healthy weight. Researchers in Hawaii and Indiana found that women who consumed dairy products regularly had a lower weight and less body fat than those who didn’t. If you’re eating good foods but still gaining pounds, find a registered dietitian in your area to talk about portion sizes and sustainable weight-loss strategies.

Healthy-eating hurdle #4: I don’t know how to cook healthy meals!

If you’re tired of ordering in but have no time for cooking classes, you can still eat healthy meals at home. Visit the detailed search section in our Recipe File and select the ‘No cook’ option under the cooking style category. You’ll find fabulous, no-sweat recipes that you can whip together in minutes—from Black-bean and corn salad to Smoked chicken rolls. Bon appetit!