March 21, 2023

Challenging "all or nothing" thinking about nutrition

Take these small but mighty steps towards healthy nutrition.
Graphic of meal

We are often reminded about the benefits of healthy, nutritious food for our wellbeing.  Despite our intention to eat well, it can be easy to get sidetracked by exams, deadlines, and the busyness of life.  Often, we see nutritious eating as an 'all or nothing' prospect that we will focus on “after exams” or “during the summer when there is good produce”. However, there are small but significant steps that we can take to make progress with healthy nutrition right now.  Consider the following tips to help you introduce balance into how we choose food and how we make nutritious eating part of our daily habits.  

  • 2019’s version of Canada’s Food Guide focuses on proportions as opposed to portions of foods and provides guidance on some psychosocial contributors to healthy eating such as being mindful of our habits and connecting with others over meals.  While food guides have been subject to critique for not representing the breadth of foods that Canadians enjoy, they can still play a role in promoting balanced meals and educating on nutrition.   

  • Figuring out what products to buy can be difficult as there are so many options, and what really is the difference between product A and product B? One tool we can use is the nutrition label, as it gives us some quick and useful information on what makes up our food. Learn more here about how to understand and use it. 

  • When we eat out, it can often feel challenging to find a nutritious option, while also not feeling like we are depriving ourselves of something we want that we may not make at home. But nutrition doesn’t need to be all or nothing; even by taking some simple steps, such as asking for a sauce on the side to only use what you need, can make a big difference. Learn ways to make better choices that seem realistic to you next time you dine out or order in.