LiveWell

Your Basic Nutrition Guide

Are you overwhelmed by all of the different nutrition and food information available? It can be confusing to sort through all the messages to determine what to follow. But it is easier than it may appear. If you use this basic nutrition guide you will have all the necessary tools to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet.

1. Choose water most often. Water is necessary for all bodily functions and it is an essential part of a healthy diet. Make water more exciting by adding fresh or frozen fruit.

• Women need 2.2 L or 9 cups of fluid daily
• Men need 3 L or 12 cups of fluid daily

It is easier to get your daily needs by keeping a water bottle accessible. For more information on fluids.

2. Always go for vegetables and fruit.
Fruit and vegetables are packed with essential nutrients and fibre. Fibre helps with weight loss and keeps your digestive system healthy. Choose a wide variety of vegetables and fruit daily in order to get a wide range of nutrients. Aim for half of your plate to be filled with vegetables and fruit.
For more information on vegetables and fruit.

3. Choose whole grains. Whole grains are loaded with essential nutrients and fibre.
Make at least half of your grain choices whole grain. Whole grains include: whole wheat or whole grain bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta, oats, or barley.
Aim for a quarter of your plate to be filled with whole grains. For more information on whole grains.

4. Lean meat & alternatives are best. Meat and alternatives are the best source of protein, iron and many other nutrients. However, they can also be high in fat. Therefore try to choose lean options like chicken breast, turkey, fish, eggs or beans, and lentils which are also good sources of fibre.
Aim for a quarter of your plate to be filled with lean meat and alternatives.

5. Make smart dairy choices. Dairy products are a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin D. Dairy products are essential for strong bones.
Choose the low or non-fat options like skim milk, less then 2% MF (Milk Fat) yogurt, or less than 20% MF cheese to avoid added calories and fat.  For more information on milk and alternatives.

6. Choose the healthy fats. Fat adds a lot of flavor to foods but it also adds calories and can increase the risk for diseases. Enjoy 2-3 tbsp of unsaturated fat daily such as olive oil, canola oil, and nut or avocado oil. Try to limit saturated and trans fats. For more information on fats.

Have a look at Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide for more information on your recommended daily servings and appropriate serving sizes.

Visit the University of Alberta’s Activity Registration to sign up for a nutrition counseling session. Nutrition Counseling session with a registered dietitian to help you make healthier choices in order to meet your nutrition goals.