Canadian Federation of
Medical Students

Nutrition Wellness

Nutrition Wellness 2019

This page is currently being updated for the 2019 version. If you want to consult last year's version, please click here here.

Nutrition

(Kelsie Ou, Class of 2021; Kevin Karivelil, Class of 2020; Simaran Kalkat, Class of 2020)

New Canada’s Food Guide (2019)

Did you know that the Canada Food Guide was recently changed? Here are some of the most important new recommendations:

For more information, visit Canada’s Food Guide here. They also have many simple and delicious recipes for every meal!

Looking for more specific information regarding nutrition?

Check out the Dietitians of Canada!

This colourful website provides evidence-based information on nutrition and the latest recommendations for macronutrient and micronutrient intake.

For example, the website gives excellent advice on how to maintain sufficient nutrient levels for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet, namely for vitamin B12, iron, and protein.

Grab a snack!

Snacks don’t need to be unhealthy - in fact, they can be jam-packed with nutrients, fibre, and other goodies. Take some time to browse this huge list of healthy snacks on UnlockFood. Your body and brain will thank you!

What about smartphone apps related to nutrition?

  1. MyFitnessPal: A great, free tool that allows you to target specific goals, whether that be weight loss, muscle gain, or just overall health. It helps you track your calorie intake/output with a food diary & exercise tracker, and features nutritionist-approved recipes on the myfitnesspal website!
  2. MyNetDiary: another great food diary app, complete with pre-set nutrition plans, meal planning, and features that make progress easy to track.

Diet

(Simaran Kalkat, Class of 2020; Jordana Waserman, Class of 2021)

Diet - the kinds of foods that a person, animal or community habitually eat. The original, more simple definition.
Diet – a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons. The more common thought when we hear the word.

How do we categorize diets?

Inclusion/Exclusion of Animal Products

Diets that eliminate animal products may replace these products with:

Check out the Topic 2 - Nutrition Link for information on how to ensure you're meeting all your nutrition requirements with any of the above diets!

Ethnicity (endless as you can imagine)

Diets for Medical Conditions

Diet Fads

Which diets are better and healthier?

There are pros and cons to every diet, and these can be different for everyone. A healthy diet for me can be different from a healthy diet for you. Regardless, every diet should meet the following the criteria:

  1. Provide all nescessary nutrition
    • Macronutrients - proteins, fats and carbohydrates
    • Calories – for sustainability
    • Micronutrients – for optimal cell function
  2. Make you feel good
    • Fosters a healthy relationship with food – i.e. not associated with feelings of guilt or deprivation
    • Provide energy – get you through the day functioning at your best if all other aspects of your life are optimized
    • Coincide with your morals and values

What about diet fads?

There is so much information out there about different diets for living a longer life, for weight loss, for muscle gain, etc. However, there really isn’t enough information on their long term benefits, and often times these diets are not sustainable or suitable for long term practice.

There’s an entire issue of Science Magazine dedicated to Diet and Health (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/362/6416) that explores various questions around the topic. There are articles and systematic reviews looking at optimizing diets for athletes, dietary fat and carbohydrates, fasting, gut health, and more. Check it out for some geeky information on which diets are “better”. Bottom line for me anyways, was that each diet has its pros and cons, and we’ve got to find what works for us in terms of optimizing nutrition and fostering a healthy relationship with food.

Vegetarian Resources

  1. Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetics Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    • Concise handouts with reputable information by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, pertaining to plant-based diets, such as B12, iron, and protein in the context of vegetarian diets
    • Collection of vegetarian recipes
  2. UnlockFood by Dieticians of Canada
    • Articles by Dieticians of Canada about vegetarianism and veganism, including information about beans, tofu, legumes, chickpeas, nuts and seeds in the context of plant-based diets
  3. VegWeb
    • Collection of 15 000 great vegetarian recipes!!
  4. Veg Out (Toronto vegetarian podcast)
    • Collection of 15 000 great vegetarian recipes!!
  5. Vegetarian Times
    • Online vegetarian magazine featuring large collection of recipes and lifestyle content

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