Healthy eating, regardless of your age, is one of the best ways to improve your health and protect yourself against many health problems.
Healthy eating is also about your meal habits. Cooking and sharing a good meal with family or friends and discovering new foods and new flavours are enjoyable ways to eat well. In addition to satisfying your body’s needs, healthy eating is a source of enjoyment.
All foods have their place in a healthy diet. How often and how much you should eat varies, however, depending on the type of food.
Canada's Food Guide
Canada’s Food Guide can help you make healthy food choices. By following the recommendations in the Guide, you will meet your nutritional needs. An adequate amount of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is essential to your health and well-being.
The Guide recommends:
- Eating a variety of nutritious foods every day:
- plenty of vegetables and fruits;
- wholegrain foods (wholegrain bread, quinoa, oats, etc.);
- protein foods (legumes, eggs, milk, tofu, fish, poultry, yogurt), choosing plant-based protein foods most of the time.
- Make water your drink of choice. Drink water instead of 100% pure fruit juice, fruit drinks, soft drinks and other sugary drinks.
- Limit the amount of foods you eat that are high in salt, sugar or saturated fat. Eat these foods less frequently and in smaller amounts.
- Be mindful of your eating habits:
- take time to eat
- listen to your hunger and fullness signals:
- hunger signals: tell you when to eat. Often, you will have a feeling of emptiness in the stomach, a drop in energy or a growling stomach.
- fullness signals: tell you when to stop eating. Your stomach will feel full, you will feel satisfied and be less interested in food.
- Cook more often.
- Enjoy your food.
- Eat meals with other people.
- Be aware of food marketing when you are doing the grocery shopping. Food marketing promotes the sale of a food or a drink in various ways (advertisements, posts on social media or a celebrity endorsement). Highly processed foods are often targeted by food marketing.
- Read food labels.
For more information, consult Canada’s Food Guide on the Government of Canada’s website.
Choose nutritious foods and drinks
Eating well means making the healthy choices. A healthy diet includes a variety of foods and plenty of nutritious foods and drinks.
Knowing how much sugar, saturated fat and salt (sodium) there is in what you eat or drink can help you make the right choices. You will find this information on food labels. Go to the page Understanding food labels to find out more.
Useful websites on healthy eating
You will find additional information on healthy eating on the following websites:
- Food and Nutrition
Government of Canada
- Mieux comprendre le marketing alimentaire pour faire de bons choix à l’épicerie [Understanding food marketing better in order to make healthy choices at the grocery store; in French only]
Université de Montréal’s reference centre for nutrition
Last update: September 18, 2019