Tomorrow is the start of Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month. Because of that, we thought we would share some great information on why Canadian Beef is a nutritious choice for you and your family. This is a guest post by Registered Dietitian Karine.
Did you know Canadians get almost a quarter of their total calories from non-essential foods such as chocolate bars, potato chips, sweetened beverages and high fat baked goods?
Does this surprise you? Whether it does or not, it’s the truth, and it’s cause for concern! These non-essential foods are largely “empty calories” meaning they offer very few vitamins or minerals per calorie. High intakes of these “other foods” can be bad news for your health and your waistline.
Knowing how your diet compares to the amount and type of food recommended in Canada’s Food Guide can help you set goals to improve your eating habits and help you make sure ‘all your calories count’.
So, where does lean beef fit in? Canadian beef is one of the best examples of a nutrient-rich food. For a moderate number of calories, beef serves up an excellent source of protein, plus 13 other essential vitamins and minerals. For ultimate health, the key is to choose wholesome foods in their natural state, like lean beef, vegetables, fruit, whole grains and milk. These are exactly the types of nutrient-rich foods we want to build meals around.
One easy way to check if you’re eating in a healthful way is to look at your plate. If it’s mostly colourful vegetables, along with some whole grains and a lean meat or alternative, you’re on your way to healthy eating. Specifically, envision a plate that’s not too big, such as a salad plate. One-quarter should be lean protein, like lean Canadian beef. Another quarter should be a grain like whole grain pasta or a starch like potato, and the remaining half of the plate should be vegetables or even some fruit – the more colour the better! Pay close attention to portion size. You can get better acquainted with portion sizes by checking out Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.
Every day, women need 2 Food Guide servings from the Meat and Alternatives food group and men need 3. Remember, beef is so nutrient-rich you don’t need a large portion to get a whole lot of essential nutrients. When trimmed of fat, Canadian beef is lean, loaded with protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins and much more. Check out our Beef Radio podcasts for more information on eating the nutrient rich way.
Enjoy your beef – I like to think of it as getting a little bit of extra goodness in every yummy bite! Do you have questions about the nutrients found in Canadian beef? Let us know, we’re here to help.
Karine is a Registered Dietitian with BIC, passionate foodie and world traveler. Beef, of course, is a favourite food in her home – providing nourishing and nurturing meals for her hubby, growing 5 year old and the friends and other family they often entertain. There are not many conversations, either at work or at home, that don’t weave their way back somehow to food, recipes, nutrition, or beef. “Is “beef” all you talk about at work?”, Karine’s son recently asked. Karine proudly responded “yes”…