What a great time to bring awareness to heart health through nutrition and movement. According to Health Canada, 2.5 million Canadians every year are affected by heart disease, and it is the second leading cause of death.
Fortunately, heart disease can be reduced and avoided by healthy eating and being active. There’s never a better time than this moment to make a change. An easy way to start making positive changes is by being aware of what you eat daily.
A new and improved Canada Food Guide (Canada's Food Guide) was released based on research that shows improving health and decreasing disease can be achieved by the foods we eat. It recommends that:
50% of your daily food intake should include fruits and vegetables.
25% from small amounts of proteins that are primarily plant based including nuts, legumes, and seeds; with a smaller amount from lean meats, eggs, and fish.
The final 25% of your daily food intake should come from whole grains including quinoa, oatmeal, brown or wild rice, and whole grain pastas.
The Guide encourages limiting processed foods (Limit highly processed foods - Canada's Food Guide) that are high in sodium, sugars, and saturated fats, such as processed meats, sugary drinks, bakery and other sugary items, fast food, and other items. Eating too many of these foods contribute to chronic disease and should be limited.
Incorporating positive healthy foods increases your vitamins, minerals, energy, and builds immunity. In addition, the increased fibre from more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains aid in reducing heart disease and other chronic issues.
While you are enjoying eating exciting new foods that help your heart, don’t forget to move your body throughout the day. The best way to get moving is doing what you enjoy! You’ll always feel motivated, stick to it, and have fun doing the things you love. Something as simple as getting outside and walking for 15 – 30 minutes a day has huge benefits for your mental, spiritual, and physical health.
Whether you are 9 or 99 years old, adding a few little tweaks to the food you eat, combined with some movement activities throughout the day, your heart will thank you for it. Remember to love your heart today!