Help prevent disease through foods you eat

Mar 22, 2018 | News

Happy Nutrition Month 2018! This year, our team of dietitians and volunteers are working together across all Providence sites to help to “Unlock the Potential of Food”. Through our media writing, patient education, staff engagement, and health promotion efforts, we hope to demonstrate that food has incredible power to fuel, to engage children in discovery, to prevent, to heal, and to bring us together. Thank you for joining us in this journey!

It’s no surprise that the food choices we make affect our health. Along with other positive lifestyle behaviours like keeping active and not smoking, having a healthy diet has the potential to prevent various illnesses and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases.

There are plenty of fad diets that claim to offer various health benefits such as "detoxing" or "cleansing" your system to achieve health; however, these diets have highly restrictive rules around food and have little to no evidence to support the claims they make. The truth is that there is no "one size fits all" diet out there. 

The best diet (meaning dietary pattern) is the one you can follow for life.

The research-backed dietary patterns that have been shown to reduce risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia and some types of cancers are those that contain plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes (e.g., beans and lentils), nuts, seeds, dairy products like yogurt and cheese, fish and other seafood, plus healthy oils such as olive and canola. These eating patterns also limit highly refined foods and those with large amounts of added salt, sugar and fat, such as chips and pop.

Eating well doesn’t need to be complicated or overly restrictive. Keep these points in mind when figuring out what dietary pattern suits your lifestyle best:

  • Choose foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed as much as possible – canned tuna is a great choice, breaded and deep-fried fish sticks aren’t.
  • Aim to have fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits at each meal.
  • It’s all about moderation – when you indulge in less healthy foods, be mindful of portion size and remember to enjoy!

Looking for some healthy recipe ideas? Give these meals a try:

Adapted from the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at

Be part of Nutrition Month activities at Providence this March:

  • To Unlock the Potential of Food, visit the Clinical Nutrition team at our Nutrition Booth on March 6, March 12, March 21, and March 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to spin the wheel and sample some delicious foods!
  • Support your knowledge of nutrition by playing our Jeopardy game, which will happen throughout the month of March at all our Providence Sites.
  • Access great recipes and menu planning tips through the Nutrition Month App, Cookspiration, and eaTracker, at
  • Tweet about your goals and achievements with #Nutritionmonth.

Members of PHC's Clinical Nutrition team, (left to right) Aaron Sihoe, Jessica Tsai, Paige Courtice, Ariel Seah and Janet Broening, helping to spread the word about ways to unlock the potential of food in celebration of Nutrition Month. They will be outside of the St. Paul's cafeteria next week -- March 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. -- so be sure to swing by! 

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