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.
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.
With food 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. Try planting a garden or visiting a farmer’s market. Local delivery boxes are available as well.
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.
When needed, consider local food access programs. Look for emergency food options like food banks and community food supports. They are here to help.
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.
You can learn more and get additional tips from these sites:
Canada’s Food Guide includes information about how much of each food group to eat, recipes to make at home, tips for when you eat out.
CancerCare Manitoba has information about healthy diets, including how cancer can be prevented through healthier food choices, appropriate portion sizes, and local resources throughout Manitoba to help.
Get free advice about nutrition and eating healthy from a registered dietitian. Learn more about Dial-a-Dietitian here, or call 204−788−8248 or (toll-free) 1−877−830−2892 or find local nutrition advice here.
Manitoba Health offers a guide to healthy eating including at different ages and stages of life.