Ten Things to Know about Healthy Eating

June 23, 2014

There is a flood of advice in the world about diets and healthy eating. From the food pyramid to fad diets, from books to blogs to celebrity chefs, some of it is good information, some of it is outrageous, and a lot of it is complicated and hard to live by. Healthy eating shouldn’t be hard, but it often seems to be.

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute’s “10 Tips for Healthy Eating” can help change that. “We wanted to have one go-to place that makes healthy eating simpler,” said Heart Institute registered dietitian Kathleen Turner. The list was developed by the registered dietitians at the Heart Institute and colleague Maria Ricupero of the University Health Network in Toronto.

“Much of the information until now has focused on what we eat, not the how. These tips offer a holistic way of thinking about eating and look more at the big picture of the whole foods we should eat,” she explained. “It’s about eating food, not nutrients.”

The 10 points draw on a solid foundation of accepted guidelines and best practices, as well as on newer research that is shifting the emphasis from specific nutrients, such as protein, cholesterol or vitamins, to whole foods.

“They are also based on our experience with patients,” Turner said. “I get asked the same things all of the time, and I wanted the 10 Tips to address some of those questions as well.” Working in Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation gives her a perspective that spans people who want to avoid getting heart disease and those who are recovering from a cardiac event or procedure.

For most people, regularly eating a variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains will give them the nutrients they need without having to worry about the details. “It represents a change in philosophy about nutrition that focuses on avoiding processed food and preparing your own meals using whole foods,” said Turner. “These 10 Tips can be used by anyone who wants to eat healthy delicious tasting food.”