(NC) If you listen long enough to conversations about food, you're bound to hear some contradictions. A wealth of studies put ingredients like sugar, fat and sodium on a sliding scale between unhealthy and not-so-bad, and unless you're keeping up to date on the latest research, knowing what's good for you can seem like a lot of work. Fortunately, there are some trusted places you can turn to for advice on making nutritious choices.
Online resources. Government-funded websites like Eat Right Ontario and Health Link BC provide guidance to residents from registered dietitians. They feature recipes, resources for educators, menu plans, and articles on topics like childhood nutrition and smart shopping. Other websites and blogs can be a great place to obtain nutritional advice, but it's a good idea to ensure the contributor is a credible source like a doctor or registered dietitian.
Nutritional facts tables. In Canada, packaged must have nutrition facts tables so consumers can learn more about the vitamins and minerals contained in products they're consuming. But nutrition facts tables aren't limited to packaged goods alone. Many restaurant chains post nutrition facts tables online or will provide them upon request, and regulations in places like Ontario may require calories to be posted on food service menus. The government's Healthy Canadians website has an excellent guide to help you interpret nutrition facts tables.
Registered dietitians. Registered dietitians are accredited health professionals who are trained to use a range of medical and nutritional research to help you make food choices. Dietitians may be available through your public health service provider or a private practice. Some grocery stores like Loblaws and Zehrs have registered dietitians on staff who provide one-on-one consultations, store tours, field trips and cooking classes.
Canada's food guide. Although changes may be in store to update Canada's Food Guide in the coming years, it remains a valuable tool for helping structure your diet. The food guide was created in 2002 based on a range of nutritional research and was last revised in 2007 to incorporate new research and testing.