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Parish Nursing Bulletin



Self-Defense #1: Healthy Nutrition

Over the last three weeks we have looked at three major "killer diseases" - diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Although each has its individual risk factors, you may have noticed that some factors (obesity, inactivity) were common to all three. This week and next, we will consider two major methods of protecting ourselves against these killers: nutrition and exercise.

Our focus today is on healthy nutrition. Fast foods and prepared foods are usually loaded with fat. Yo-yo (fad) dieting is self-defeating; you usually regain more than you've lost. Two major issues are: what constitutes healthy nutrition, and how to develop healthy eating habits. Canada's Food Guide (see attached) remains the standard for good nutrition.

Tips for Developing Healthy Eating Habits
· Only you can decide to change
· Then, recruit supporters (friends/ family) to help you keep on track
· Record everything you eat for 1 week (your usual pattern)
· Compare what and how much you're eating now with CFG and see what needs to change
· Eat breakfast - you wouldn't expect your car to run on empty
· Cut down/increase portion size to match CFG
· Drink water (6 - 8 large glasses/ day) - flushes system
· Decrease fats (plain yogurt instead of sour cream, salad dressing on the side, dry bread)
· Increase fiber (fruits, veggies, bran)
· Eat slowly - it takes 20 min. for your brain to recognize fullness
· Avoid temptation (social outings) during first month of change
· Prior to buffets, etc., imagine yourself eating only small portions
· Build rewards (favourite foods) into new pattern (small amounts of chocolate, etc. occasionally)
· Eat only when you're hungry. Avoid eating to offset loneliness, boredom.

What is Healthy Nutrition?
A copy of Canada's Food Guide follows on a separate sheet so that you can tape it to your refrigerator or cupboard door for ongoing reference.


GRAIN PRODUCTS: 5 - 12 Servings
1 slice bread
175 ml/ ¾ c hot cereal
30 g cold cereal
½ bagel, pita or bun
½ c pasta or rice

FRUITS & VEGGIES: 5 - 10 Servings
1 med size veggie or fruit: fresh/frozen
125 ml/ ½ c veggie or fruit: canned/frozen
250 ml/ 1 c salad
125 ml/ ½ c juice

Children 4 - 9 yr: 2 - 3 Servings
Youth 10 - 16 yr: 3 - 4 Servings
Adults: 2 - 4 Servings
Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women: 3 - 4 Servings
250 ml/ 1 c milk
50 g butter
2 slices/ 50 g cheese
175 g/ ¾ c yogurt

MEAT & ALTERNATES: 2 - 3 Servings
50 - 100 g meat/poultry/fish (size of deck of cards)
1/3 - 2/3 can tuna
1 - 2 eggs
125 - 250 ml beans
100 g/ 1/3 c tofu
30 ml/ 2 tbsp peanut butter

Use other foods/drinks in moderation.


© 2009 Parish Nursing Ministry