Tag Archives: Dietitians of Canada

Tummy Troubles & Digestive Woes: What’s causing all this gas*?

gut health 2017

(*Dietitians Of Canada Guest Blog)
It’s a common story. You’re having lunch with friends, and you mention that you’ve been experiencing a health problem. And with that remark, your friend goes into “problem solving mode” by recommending a specific diet or ingredient that they think may help you. Your friend means well, but it’s better to get medical advice from a reputable source to help solve your struggle. Misinformation affects many of my clients, but there is a way to spot your problem and seek reliable facts to solve it. I’m going to walk you through an example of a three-step problem-solving approach that was developed for Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month 2017 campaign Take the Fight out of Food, which works quite well for nutritional concerns.

Let’s call this client Celeste. She’s fighting with an embarrassing problem – excess gas. Her friend recommended a gluten-free diet, but her friend is not a doctor or dietitian, so Celeste was curious about this recommendation. Was it the right one
for her? Let’s use the three-step approach to solve her struggle with gas and bloating.

  1. Spot the problem: Celeste’s problem was that everything she ate seemed to give her gas. Her friend said to stop eating wheat and gluten, but she wasn’t sure if that was the right advice.
  2. Get the facts: After reading a medical website, Celeste was relieved to learn that gas, bloating and burping are all common and can be normal. She found helpful advice by searching the term “gas” on these trusted websites such as those written by Registered Dietitians: www.dietitians.ca  www.healthlinkbc.ca  www.eatrightontario.ca
    She learned that gas, bloating and burping may be caused by swallowed air, medicines, supplements and certain food or drinks. So, maybe she was not properly digesting her daily chickpea salad or one of her supplements is causing the problem?

    But she also noted that gas and bloating could be the sign of a condition, such as lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease. Celeste was unsure of the reason for her symptoms, and read that it’s important not to self-diagnose. She needed the help of her doctor.

    Celeste wants to learn more about her friend’s suggestion to give up gluten in case she has celiac disease, so she visited the Canadian Celiac Association website. She learned that if she needs to be tested for celiac disease, she needs to be eating gluten (a protein found in wheat and other grains) before the test to get accurate results. If she had taken her friend’s advice to remove gluten from her diet, she could get a “false negative” result. Phew! She’s happy that she looked into it before making any changes to her diet. If she does need to go that route, she now knows to work with a Registered Dietitian before eliminating foods, since they can help her plan a balanced diet and ensure she meets nutrient needs.

  3. Seek support: Now Celeste knows not to self-diagnose or rely solely on advice from websites or well-meaning friends. She will talk to her doctor about her symptoms. If necessary she will see a gastroenterologist (digestive health doctor). She can also reach out to a registered dietitian (like me!) to help her figure out which foods may be causing her discomfort.

Do you have a food fight that you struggle with? Try the three-step approach to Take the Fight out of Food and if you want to get the facts from a dietitian, you can find one at www.dietitians.ca/find.

*Guest Blog was contributed by Dietitians of Canada #Nutritionmonth found on the DC Nutrition Month website. Did you know that Dietitians of Canada has led Nutrition Month Campaign for more than 30 years?

 

TOP 3 Heart Healthy Foods to include in your meals

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February is Heart Month and a terrific time to celebrate foods that are good for your heart health.  Check out the dietitian’s TOP 3 tips for heart healthy foods to include in your meals on a regular basis.

  • Fatty fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, Atlantic herring and trout. Aim for two servings per week. Fatty fish are good sources of omega-3 fats.

  • Fibre

Eat at least half of your grain products as whole grains. Examples include rolled oats, barley, brown rice, quinoa and whole grain breads, breakfast cereals and pasta.

  • Vegetables

At meals, make at least half your plate vegetables. Choose veggies or fruit for snacks and dessert each meal

To discover more about Heart Health and nutrition trends join me for NutritionTraining  www.NutritionForNONNutritionists.com

 

Source: Dietitians of Canada, Healthy Eating Guidelines to Prevent Heart Disease

2017 Top food and nutrition trends

2017’s top 10 fowhat's hotod and nutrition trends signal big changes for the year ahead and include a renewed focus on quality and enjoyment of food, sustainability, clean eating and influential new regulations. Read on for more of our expert advice on trends that will impact consumer food choices. Let us know what you think…

1. Clean Eating
Consumers demand to know exactly what is in their food and where it comes from so they can make informed choices that are in line with their values. For mindful decisions, the ingredient list, the food source and recipe composition are all becoming more significant factors.

2. Kids & Youth
Health Canada identified promoting the importance of healthy eating in children and youth a priority. Look for more resources, reports and dietary guidance to help establish healthy eating habits at an early age.

3. Enjoy food in the company of others
Food is a powerful way to connect with people which has benefits well beyond nutrition. We’ll see focus on bringing back the pleasure of everyday shared meals, cooking and conversation.

4. Sustainability
Taking care of the planet is a priority with a strong millennial focus. Look for ways to eliminate food waste, use up less than perfect looking fruit/veg, eat food before it spoils, package in compostable or biodegradable materials.

5. Protein Power
Protein continues to be a nutrient of great interest at every meal occasion, especially breakfast. Expect increased attention to plant based protein sources in healthy recipes such as tofu, nuts, seeds, pulses (dried beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas).

6. Food Security
Let’s recognize the importance of equitable access to affordable, wholesome, healthy foods and drinks for all Canadians. Supporting best health through good nutrition for everyone is driving a variety of new efforts.

7. Veggie Believers
Growth of vegetarian, vegan and other plant-focused foods are fueled by consumers looking for ways to boost their veggie intake at home and while eating out. Find more ways to make half your plate veggies.

8. Digestive Health – Feed Your Fiber Famished Gut!
Keeping your gut healthy involves eating probiotics that feed the friendly bacteria that live in your intestine. Canadians get less than half of the daily recommended amount of fibre, so look for more tips on boosting fibre intake, specifically probiotic type fibres for digestive health. More information is available on probiotic fibres at http://bit.ly/2jPasvW 

9. New Food Labels and Claims
Health Canada through a commitment to transparency and ongoing regulatory modernization is revamping the packaged food label and Canada’s Food Guide. Calories, sugars, fat are focus on packaged foods and calories are required on restaurant chain menus. Check CFIA guidelines for any statements that may be made about the nutritional value of foods or menu items to help you avoid any violations.

10. Dietitians are Most Trusted Experts in Food & Nutrition
Many Canadians get their food and nutrition information from the ‘Wild Wild Web” of the internet which has so much misinformation. Instead, look to dietitians, the most trusted experts in food and nutrition. We do the hard work of studying the evidence, reviewing the research and translating the science to credible recommendations that you can use.

Let’s start a conversation! Join me at  our 10th annual Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists Course  on April 26th 2017 University of Toronto

5 hot tips to help you make small changes that stick #NutritionMonth

Nutrition Month 2016Working as a registered dietitian in education and nutrition communications gives me a unique perspective of seeing the difference nutrition professionals can make. Focusing on one meal a day during Nutrition Month 2016 is a great approach to make changes that you can stick with. Here are my top 5 picks to can help you make small lasting changes – one tip at a time.

  1. Fat confusion reigns
    Misinformation continues to surround dietary fat. People are muddled about the relationship between dietary fat and chronic diseases, so Nutrition Month is a great opportunity to help clarify the message. Saturated fat landscape is changing but it’s NOT a free for all – check food source first. Dietitian’s TIP: All liquid veg oils are OK – pick your favourite to cook with.
  1. Sugars slip up
    Added or free sugars are in the public ‘Danger Zone’. It’s true we don’t need added sugars as part of a healthy diet but it’s important to know that sugars can enhance the taste, aroma and texture of many healthy foods. There are natural sugars found in all fruit, dairy, and wholegrain breads and cereals, foods that are important for our health. Did you know that added and naturally occurring sugars are broken down the same way, and once digested the body really can’t tell the difference?  Dietitian’s Tip: It’s a good start to cut down on sugary foods but it’s still okay to leave some sweet foods in to keep it real.
  1. Veggie Believers
    Increasing your veggie intake is a great step toward healthier eating. In my wellness classes I look for unique and memorable ways reinforce the importance of eating more veggies. See if you can find inspiration in this perennial hit “I’m a Veggie Believer,” music video by Carl Winter, UC Davis.  More great ideas on how to make it easier for you to boost your veggie and fruit intake are available at Half Your Plate a program. Dietitian’s Tip:  Find ways to boost your veggie intake and stick with it.
  1. Worksite wellness works
    According to a poll by Ipsos Reid, 45% of Canadians say that eating healthy meals and snacks while at work is challenging.  You can help kick-start mindful healthy eating at your workplace! Invite a Registered Dietitian (RD) for a lunch and learn session or find an RD in your area for consultation. (Your healthcare benefit package may cover the costs too!)  RDs are the only regulated health professionals in the field of nutrition. Dietitians are qualified to offer you trust-worthy, science-based food and nutrition advice tailored to your health goals, preferences, and lifestyle. Dietitians Tip: Working with a Registered Dietitian (RD) makes a difference!
  1. Cook!
    You probably love to hear it when something you already do is good for you. Well here is one – if you cook you’re good to go! Knowing your way around the kitchen with some cooking skills will set you up for success in health, and you’ll never be without friends when food is a way to show your love and caring for others. The health benefits of cooking your food are real (even if you are using some processed ingredients). Dietitians Tip: Try recipes approved by dietitians to inspire healthy eating you can stick with. Visit  Cookspiration, Dietitian Recipe Ideas or try some of my favourite recipes.

Thanks for reading and Happy Nutrition Month!
Lucia

Frequent Family Meals Matter!

Studies show that families who eat together tend to eat better. There is a link between family meals and healthy weights, and research also shows that when families eat together, they generally consume more fruits and vegetables at meal time. Teens who eat dinner with their families are more motivated to do well in school and are more likely to stay away from destructive behaviors like smoking and drinking.  It’s surprising to know that as children move from middle school to high school the number of them who eat dinner with their families decreases by more than 50%.

The topic of family meals continues to be relevant as seen on he cover of the most recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.  Dietitians of Canada’s fall cross country speaker series is also about making the most of mealtimes. Contact us to learn more about the latest research on the benefits and strategies of family meals.