Eating healthy

At every stage of life, eating healthier is always a good thing to do. Introducing well-rounded meals and snacks to your daily diet is a great way to improve your mental, physical and social well-being. But it doesn’t stop there.

A healthier diet will also help reduce your risk for medical issues like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. It can help reduce stress and improve your mental health.

A great way to start is by simply filling your grocery bags with nutrient- and fiber-rich foods, then trying out some new options. You never know what flavours and recipes you, and your body, will love.

This winter season, eating healthy can be difficult with fewer fresh fruits and vegetables available and increasing prices at the grocery store. But there are ways to eat healthy despite this and we have tips below for you.

If you think you could be eating better, you’re not alone. 45% of Manitobans believe they aren’t doing enough or could be doing more when it comes to eating healthy (Doctors Manitoba 2023 survey). Below you will find suggestions from doctors about simple steps you can take.

Tips for eating healthier:

  • Try adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet.

  • Go for leaner proteins and whole grains.

  • Make sure to limit the amount of fast food, packaged, or processed foods you consume.

  • Try reducing the amount of high-fat and high-sugar meals and snacks.

  • You can avoid overeating by learning your body’s hunger cues and giving it the healthy fuel it needs.

  • Cook and eat meals together with family and friends.

  • Enjoy the food you’re eating. Try new recipes. Remember to eat slowly and mindfully. And don’t forget to turn off your screens so you can focus on how your food tastes, and enjoy the company you’re eating with.

During these winter months, and with prices going up on things like fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, here are some helpful tips so you can continue to eat healthy while being conscious of your budget:

  • Frozen or canned fruits or vegetables can be a good alternative to fresh. In-season local produce can often be cheaper. Hearty vegetables are a good option during the winter, such as yams, carrots, beets, onions, squash, spinach, and kale.

  • Make a healthy soup or stew, a comforting option on cold winter days.
  • Watch for cheaper cuts of meat or fish and explore plant-based proteins like beans, tofu, nuts or lentils.

  • Replace sugary drinks and take-out coffees with water as your drink of choice.

  • Plan your meals and shop with a list. Watch for sales and coupons. Try generic or store brands.

  • Cooking and freezing your meals are good ways to eat healthy throughout the week, especially if you have a busy schedule. Plus, cooking in batches can also save money and time.

  • Financial benefits are available to purchase groceries. EIA is available as one option. A prenatal benefit is available during pregnancy

  • When needed, consider local food access programs. Look for emergency food options like food banks and community food supports. They are here to help.

  • Get more tips from Heart & Stroke and from Canada’s Food Guide.

When to Call a Doctor

Sometimes it is important to see a doctor before making major changes to your diet. Some of the reasons include:

  • Having specific medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease.

  • Losing weight without any changes to your diet or activity level.

  • Your weight goes up and down because you have lot of swelling.

  • If you’re having trouble swallowing or you cough when you drink.

You can also talk to a doctor if you are worried about your relationship with food, or have a history of dealing with an eating disorder.

Learn More

You can learn more and get additional tips from these sites:

Nutri​tion​Facts​.org offers research-based nutritional information and recipes on social media, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

Keep exploring ways to improve your health.

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