Nutritional genomics is a new frontier in scientific research that has shown exciting evidence of a relationship between our genes, nutrition and our health.
A gene is a sequence of DNA that codes for proteins required for functioning of the human body. Humans have two copies of each gene: One copy is inherited from their mother and the other from their father. The combination of the two copies of the gene determine person’s genotype. Most people are about 99% genetically identical, but it is the 1% genetic variation that makes all the difference. Individual genetic variation can affect how we respond to individual nutrients and the foods we eat, giving each of us our own unique nutritional needs.
Nutrigenomics is the study of how individual genetic variation affects a person's response to nutrients and how this impacts the risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases as well as athletic performance, fertility and other health-related outcomes. For example, t...
The holiday season is a time to enjoy the pleasure of family and friends, and yes, food and drink. These tips will help you celebrate the festive season without feeling deprived, anxious or guilty about your food and beverage choices.
If you enjoy Christmas baking, freeze the extras or give some away to friends and family.
Continue to eat three, balanced meals throughout the day, even if you are going out for dinner or to a holiday party. Restricted eating during the day often results in overeating or making less healthy choices later on.
Whether it is a meal or appetizers, always remember to fill ½ your plate with fruits and vegetables and eat these foods first.
Enjoy the flavour of fresh/natural foods without a lot of added sauces, gravies and dips.
When at a cocktail party, socialize in a different room, away from the food table. It’s easier to avoid temptation when food is not at an arm’s length.
Goodbye “keto” diet. Hello “plant-based” diet! As a Registered Dietitian, I couldn’t be more pleased with the latest diet trend, because it isn’t actually a “diet”, it is a healthy, balanced way of eating that just makes sense. So what is a plant-based diet anyway? Many people interpret a plant-based diet as being vegetarian or vegan, but this isn’t the case. Although a plant-based diet is mostly made up of food from plants such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant proteins such as legumes, lentils, nut/seeds and their butters and soy products such as tofu, it can actually contain moderate amounts of fish, poultry, lean meat, lower fat dairy products and eggs.
One of reasons the plant-based diet is becoming so popular is because this way of eating has been shown to prevent and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer and also help with weight management. This diet is a rich source of fibre, vita...
Snacks can be a healthy addition to your three daily meals and a way of getting some of the nutrients you may have missed at mealtime. If you feel like grabbing a snack between meals, ask yourself first if you are truly hungry or if you are eating because you are feeling bored, lonely, anxious, angry, happy, sad or stressed. If you are hungry, choose a snack that will energize you, nourish your body, and help you feel satisfied until your next meal. If you think you are craving a snack for reasons other than hunger, do something to distract yourself like doing a crossword puzzle/craft or going for a walk.
Tips for Choosing a Healthy snack
For a nutrient-packed snack, include a serving from 1 or 2 of the food groups from Canada's Food Guide.
Choose whole, non-processed foods more often.
Include a source of protein and/or healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, nut butter, hummus, hard-cooked egg, tuna, avocado or lower fat dairy products such...
Cravings, we all get them. They are defined as “a powerful desire for something”. For a lot of us, this “something” is FOOD. Of course, we rarely get a craving for something nourishing like a cucumber or an orange. Our cravings usually for something salty, like potato chips or something sweet, like chocolate! More often than not, we crave the foods that give us PLEASURE. Unfortunately, that pleasure is usually only temporary, because soon after giving into our cravings, we are burdened with the feeling of GUILT. Cravings have been compared to a wave in the ocean. They start out slow, increase in strength, rise to a crest and then gradually fade away over time. Using the 5 D’s may help you manage your cravings. The 5 D’s are: Determine, Delay, Distract, Distance and Decide.
1. Determine- Ask yourself if you are actually hungry or if you are eating for reasons other than hunger i.e. emotional eating. If you are truly hungry, it has been 3-4 hours sinc...
After reading about the unfortunate passing of Anthony Bourdain, chef, food enthusiast and TV celebrity, last week, it got me thinking about the clients I have seen in my practice and their contrasting relationship with food.
Anthony was described in the media as someone who had a love of adventure and fine food and drink. They said he had a passion for exploring food and cuisine around the world and he taught us how food can connect us with each other. Isn’t that the way it should be? Food should be enjoyed and appreciated. It has the power to unite people around the table to share the same pleasurable experience. It is the focus of our celebrations and our culture. It stimulates all of our senses and can make us feel good. Food nourishes our body, keeps us healthy and gives us the energy we need to do the things we enjoy. Food is a good thing, right?
Unfortunately, for so many people, this is not the case. Food is the “enemy”. They live their lives restrictin...
The ketogenic diet has traditionally been used to control seizures in children and adults with epilepsy, but lately it has been gaining popularity as a weight loss diet.
A ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrate (<30 grams per day). When the body is not getting adequate carbohydrates, it breaks down its own fat stores. Fat is converted in the liver to ketones, an alternate source of fuel. The process of the body breaking down fat for energy is called ketosis. To lose weight more effectively, you must adhere strictly to the very low carbohydrate diet to stay in a lower level of ketosis. If you are starting (or re-starting) a ketogenic diet, it can take a few days to a month for your body to switch to using ketones as its main fuel source.
This very low carbohydrate diet limits the intake of fruit, root vegetables, whole grains, milk, legumes and lentils, in addition to sweet treats and sugary beverages. Foods that may be c...
Omega-3 fatty acids are types of polyunsaturated fats. They have gained a lot of attention because of their many health benefits such as heart health, lowering triglycerides and their effect on brain, nerve and eye development in children of pregnant and breastfeeding women. There is also ongoing research to determine the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis; cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia; mental health disorders including depression and anxiety; and certain types of cancer, however this is not yet conclusive.
There are 3 types of omega-3 fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Our bodies do not produce these omega-3 fatty acids, so it is essential to get them through diet or a supplement.
Fatty fish such as, salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines and arctic char are great sources of the most beneficial ty...
It's that time of year again when everyone around us is sniffing, sneezing and coughing. If only there was a cure for the common cold! Many people I know tell me that they are taking a vitamin C supplement daily in excess of 1000 mg with the hopes of preventing the common cold.
I have some good news and some bad news to share. Research shows that taking approximately 200 mg or more of vitamin C daily does not prevent the common cold in the general population, but it may slightly reduce the duration and severity of symptoms in those individuals who take it regularly, once they get a cold.
It's a different story however, in athletes or people experiencing extreme physical stress. For these individuals, daily vitamin C consumption of 200 mg or more may reduce the incidence of colds by as much as 50%.
The usual daily recommended intake of vitamin C for adults is 75 mg/day for females and 90 mg/day for males. Smokers need an extra 35 mg of vitamin C per day....