Category: Uncategorized

Benefits of Workplace Wellness

Happy business colleagues having lunch on table at office cafete

Do you wish you had more energy at work? Do you find it tough to eat well on the job or during shift work? Do you want to be more efficient in using your talents to produce outstanding results? You’re not alone. These were just some of the challenges we heard from the attendees at this year’s Partners in Prevention Conference and Trade Show. As exhibitors for Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists, we were delighted to share our most popular presentation at the Healthy Living stage – “Top 5 Ways to Eat Better” – and had the chance to connect with workplace wellness leaders about food, nutrition, improved concentration and productivity.

Many of us spend eight hours a day – and probably more – at work, so let’s make them count for health and wellness!

Why Promote Wellness in the Workplace?*
Did you know that 57% of employees in Canada are living with at least one chronic condition such as high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol?** Good food builds healthier people and a healthier workplace. Worksite health promotion is an investment in your most important asset: your employees. Studies have shown that employees are more likely to be on the job and performing well when they are in optimal health. Benefits of implementing a wellness program include:

  • Lower health care costs, due to a healthier workforce and improved disease management
  • Enhanced recruiting by attracting the most talented workers
  • Reduced absenteeism and improved productivity
  • Improved on-the-job time utilization, decision-making and productivity
  • Improved employee morale
  • Reduction in turnover

As dietitians, we LOVE food! We’re credible experts who translate the science of nutrition and unlock the potential of food to support healthy living for Canadians. Book us for your next Lunch and Learn or Wellness Fair. Contact us with your wellness boosting food & menu questions – we can help! Shout out to us Lucia@WeilerNutrition.com

*Source: Mumby, Workplace Wellness
**Source: Chronic Disease in the Workplace: Focus on Prevention and Support

 

Stay energized by planning nutritious snacks into your day.

buddha bowl 2018-04-03_19-39-29I’m so excited to be a Registered Dietitian and help Canadians unlock the potential of food! We love our food – it gives us fuel, it prevents ailments, it helps us heal, and it always brings us together.

Here are my top tips to help you unlock the potential of food for staying energized and planning nutritious snacks into your day.

FIVE TIPS FOR HEALTHY SNACKS[1]

Snacks are foods or drinks that are consumed between meals. When you’re on-the run during a busy day, think of snacks as mini-meals that offer some nutritional value and an energy boost. Examples are an apple with peanut butter or cheese with crackers. Don’t fill your hunger gap with treat-like foods such as cookies, chocolate and chips, which are not as nourishing as snacks. Choosing healthy snacks can be a great way to get all the nutrients your body needs each day. Here are five helpful snacking tips from Registered Dietitians:

  1. Snack on vegetables! About half of all Canadians don’t eat enough vegetables or fruit. Snacking on them between meals is a great way to add an extra serving or two to your day
  2. Plan ahead. Keep a variety of healthy, ready-to-eat snacks on hand for when you get hungry, like cut up veggies, nuts and cubed cheese. Being prepared helps you avoid less-healthy treats.
  3. Mind your portion sizes. Instead of snacking from a large bag or box, take a smaller amount and put it on a plate or bowl.
  4. Listen to your hunger cues. Ask yourself: am I truly hungry, or am I eating because I am bored, tired or stressed?
  5. Skip distracted snacking! Avoid munching while looking at a screen, driving or working. You may eat more than you need if you’re distracted from your feeling of fullness.

HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS

Dietitians love to snack and here are our favourites. We look for snacks that boost intake of protein and fibre. Here are 11 great ideas and the ones with * are great to keep in your bag, car or desk drawer.

  1. Carrots and peppers with hummus
  2. Nut butter on banana slices
  3. Greek yogurt topped with berries
  4. Whole grain toast with peanut butter
  5. Cheddar cheese and apple slices
  6. Small handful of trail mix made with nuts, seeds and raisins*
  7. Roasted chickpeas and popcorn mix*
  8. Whole grain cereal with milk
  9. Sliced vegetables with yogurt dip
  10. Tuna on crackers
  11. Whole grain toast with avocado and sesame seeds

What’s your favourite healthy snack?

[1] Adapted from the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at www.nutritionmonth2018.ca.

Innovation Unleashed – 5 hot topics from Canada’s largest foodservice trade event

rc show 2018People LOVE food – it unites us all! The power of food is everywhere and the Restaurants Canada show Innovation Unleashed was a great place to discover fascinating insights on advances in the foodservice industry. We were there and connected with Operators, Presidents, Buyers, Agents, Chefs & more about key industry issues and the future of hospitality. #RCShow18

Here are the 5 hot topics that caught our interest as food and nutrition experts:

  1. Where does food come from? Local is by far still the biggest trend in restaurants today and expected to keep gaining momentum. Running a profitable restaurant, maintaining food costs, and satisfying the local trend is challenging for many businesses. Restaurants are discovering how to incorporate local ingredients to menu items  while boosting the bottom line.
  2. Why does food go to waste?  Stats are shocking…too much of the food cooked in restaurants is thrown away. What about grocery stores? Does food end up in the waste bin because it doesn’t look good? Consumers’ attention is moving beyond where food comes from to where food is going. With such tight margins let’s keep the food out of the trash bin. Speakers also discussed a “Feed it Forward Food Insecurity” option where safe, unused and unsold food destined for landfill could be donated to those who are hungry and in need of food aid.
  3. Wellness anyone? Want to make better-for-you foods and boost your sales with claims? There are labelling laws & science for that!  The power of good food and nutrition has a direct connection to health. Good energy, focus, concentration and productivity are all benefits of healthy food choices throughout the day. As dietitians, we translate the science of nutrition to unlock foods’ potential and support healthy living for Canadians. Call us with your wellness boosting food & menu questions – we can help!
  4. Beverage menu in focus. Coffee and tea are popular beverages among Canadians.  Research-based industry trends showed strong areas of opportunity for Restaurateurs, including the largely untapped world of decaf coffee and herbal tea. Tea and food pairing is a trending opportunity. The positive impact of Non-Alcoholic Cocktails can create memorable drinking experiences while striving for a more balanced lifestyle. Cheers to that – healthy hydration never looked better!
  5. Future of Food & Eating. Space research yields fascinating insights on innovation in the hospitality industry. Expert panelists discussed technology, new agriculture, experiential eating, personalized foods and more that will transform the future of everything edible.

For more foodservice trends and consumer insights that can elevate your business contact us Lucia@WeilerNutrition.com or join us at the 11th annual Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists course on April 18, 2018, University of Toronto. Register at www.NutritionForNONNutritionists.com

 

Top 3 Trends & Winners at Grocery Innovations – sparks for 2018!

Lucia GIC grocery trade show 2017 gic 2017 show pic

Grocery Innovations Canada (GIC) is a ‘must attend’ annual event for professionals in the grocery and specialty food business. The 2017 fall conference and trade show offered tips for growth, innovation, and best ways to connect with consumers.  Here are 3 TOP TRENDS we recognized in some of the award winning products. To learn more about top trends and innovation sparks join us for our 11th annual Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists Course on Wed April 18, 2018; 8:30 am – 5:00 pm University of Toronto. Registration is now open!

  1. Pack it with protein
  2. Make it Fresh
  3. Keep it simple & clean for labels

Pack it with protein
Food makers are adding and highlighting protein in just about every category. It’s true that consumers are looking for protein but many people are confused about how much they need and where are the best sources of this important nutrient. As dietitians, we translate the science and find that Canadian nutrition recommendations encourage people to include plant based proteins and balance their protein intakes throughout the day, especially at breakfast.

Two of the 2017 Grocery Innovation award winners featured a protein claim.
•     EGGbakes (Burnbrae Farms Ltd.) with about 13 grams protein per 95 g serving.
•     PrOATein Premium Nutritional Bar (PrOATein) 15 grams protein per 50g bar.

gic 2017 egg burnbrae

Grocery Innovation 2017 Proatein

 

 


Make it Fresh
Demand for fresh food is on the rise (Euromonitor). We saw many packages inviting us to eat with our eyes first, using windows to let fresh food peek through and beautiful fresh food images on pack. Adding a story about where the food was grown and who cared for it makes packaged fresh food a consumer attraction. One of the top 10 winners of the 2017 Grocery Innovations Awards captured this trend: Ready-To-Eat Fresh Fruits & Vegetables (Nature Knows Inc.) showcasing fresh grape tomatoes, blueberries or grapes.

gic 2017 nature knows

Keep it Simple – the food label that is.
Consumers are looking for a clean label which may be interpreted as a combination of ‘free from’ features as well as an ingredient list that is easy to read, understand and not too long. Simply Simple Kefir+ Overnight Oats (A&M Gourmet Foods Inc.) was voted as one of the top 10 most innovative products.
gic 2017 kefir overnight oats

food labelling changes n4nn

You already know Canadian packaged foods are preparing to update their labels to comply with new Ingredient list and Nutrition Facts Table regulations.  Are you working with food brands and rethinking your food offerings? If you have questions about food and health contact us. As Registered Dietitians we are Canada’s trusted experts who translate the science of nutrition into terms everyone can understand. We unlock food’s potential and support healthy living for all Canadians. Reach us for reliable advice at Lucia@Weilernutrition.com  Also, join us for our 11th annual Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists Course on Wed April 18, 2018; 8:30 am – 5:00 pm University of Toronto. Registration is now open!

 

Sugar Sugar Everywhere – What’s healthy to eat?

sugar meter N4NN 2017

Sugar, especially added sugar has been under fire for its association with health issues including heart disease, diabetes, dental cavities and obesity. Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages. The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends limiting added sugars to a maximum of 10% of total calories in a day. For an average 2,000 calorie diet, 10% is about 48 grams or 12 teaspoons of added sugars a day.  Health Canada has set the % Daily Value (%DV) at 100 grams for total sugars per day which includes all added sugars plus naturally occurring sugars.

Here’s our expert dietitian advice:

1. Read the Nutrition Facts table.
Foods with 5 grams or less sugar per serving would be considered to have “a little” sugar whereas foods with 15 grams or more sugar per serving would be considered to have “a lot” of sugar.

2. Read the ingredients list.
Look for ingredients that indicate sugar  such as molasses, agave, fruit juice concentrate, honey, syrup, or end in ‘ose’ (e.g. dextrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, sucrose). By 2021, different sugars will be shown individually and grouped together as “Sugars”.

3. Look at the whole food.
Natural or added sugars are still sugars & contain 4 calories per gram. Just because a food has little or no sugar doesn’t mean that it is a healthy or nutritious choice. Choose wholesome, foods for maximum overall nutrition.

Questions? Contact us 
to discuss how the new sugar labelling laws impact your health and wellness or business communication.

Is your food making you sick? Check out our top 5 tips to prevent food poisoning!


1 in 8 get food poisoning N4NN July 2017

One in eight Canadians get food poisoning each year according to a recent report by The Public Health Agency of Canada. So let’s brush up on food safety with our 5 top tips that can help protect you and your family from getting sick.

  1. CLEAN – Wash your hands, and we mean really wash your hands for 20 seconds using hot water and soap. This is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness! Remember to use hot water and soap to clean cutting boards, cooking utensils and counter surfaces.
  2. SEPARATE – Don’t cross-contaminate ready to eat food. Keep fresh fruit and veggies separate from raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs in your fridge and when preparing food.
  3. COOK – You can NOT tell if a food is cooked by looking at it! The best way to tell if your food is cooked properly is to use a food thermometer. Look for these safe internal cooking temperatures:
    –  medium rare steak 63 C (145 F)
    – your sausage or burger is done at 71 C (160 F)
    – chicken pieces 74 C (165 F)
    – whole poultry 85 C (185 F)
  4. CHILL – Keep cold foods cold at or below 4 C (40F). Storing your food properly is one of the key things you can do to protect yourself from food poisoning.
  5. MIND THE DANGER ZONE which is between 4 C (40 F) and 60 C (140 F). This is where most bacteria grow well. Toss out perishable foods that have been in the ‘danger zone’ for 4 hours or more. Perishable foods include (but are not limited to) fresh meat, poultry, fish, deli meats, dairy, eggs, all cooked foods, cut up fruit and vegetables.
    Want to learn more about safe food handling practices? Contact us! We offer basic and advanced food safety training courses that can earn you a government approved certificate.

Say no to food fads this #NutritionMonth *

nutrition month 2017 knocked out by info combo 2

Did you know that one in two Canadians get their food and nutrition information from the internet, social media and blogs?  Let’s face it. Not everything we read online is true. And while many of us know that, it’s still easy to be taken in by popular ideas we see online or hear from friends. How can we really separate food fact from fiction?

Misinformation affects many of Canadians, but there is a way to spot your problem and seek reliable facts to solve it. So if you’re wondering how to make sense of the nutrition advice you read online and want nutrition facts you can trust,  I’m going to walk you through an example of a three-step problem-solving approach that was developed for Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month 2017 campaign Take the Fight out of Food, which works quite well for nutritional concerns.

#1 Spot the problem: There is so much nutrition information online and you are not sure how to tell if something is a fad!

#2 Get the facts: You know that some websites are more reliable than others.  For example, a resource on the Dietitians of Canada website that can help you determine if facts you read online are accurate. You may read websites and absorb information, but not all of it may be true.  Be more critical and ask yourself these questions when reading a website:

  • Is the website promising a quick fix or a miracle cure?
  • Do I have reasons to mistrust the person, organization or company that runs the website?
  • Are they trying to sell me something instead of educating me?
  • Are the website writers unqualified to be giving me nutrition information?
  • Do they have facts that sound too good to be true?
  • Does the information come from personal opinions rather than scientific evidence?
  • Is the content missing reviews or verification by medical experts?
  • Are the website claims based on a single study that may draw the wrong conclusion?

Now if you know that if you answers “yes” to even some of these questions, the website may not be reliable.

#3 Seek support: You should not trust everyone who has an opinion about food and nutrition. Instead,  look for sites that aren’t trying to sell you something and that rely on science rather than opinions. Check the credentials of the writers, and look for sites written by regulated health professionals whose work is reviewed by other experts.

Don’t get knocked out by information overload! Find a dietitian at www.dietitians.ca/find for advice. You can also browse this website and here is a list of other sites which are filled with reliable information: 

www.dietitians.ca
www.eatrightontario.ca
www.healthlinkbc.ca
www.healthycanadians.gc.ca
www.dietitians.ca/Media/Member-Blogs.aspx

Do you have a food fight that you struggle with? Try the three-step approach to Take the Fight out of Food and make your commitment official at www.nutritionmonth2017.ca.

*Blog based on Dietitians of Canada Nutrition Month 2017 resource. #NutritionMonth

New Canadian Nutrition Labels Announced!

Are you ready for clearer nutrition labelling on packaged foods? Health Canada announced the new formats which may help you make the healthy choice the easy choice. New labels will be implemented over the next 5 years for all packed foods. What’s changed? Here are my top 5 observations with Dietitian’s Tips:

  1. Calories in the spotlight with bolder, bigger numbers and Serving size stands out more and it will be easier to compare  similar foods
  2. daily-value-meter-eng% Daily Value (% DV) explained as a simple ‘rule of thumb: 5% DV is a little, 15% is a lot of any nutrient. [Dietitian’s Tip look for foods with: INCREASED Fibre and  LESS Saturated fat, Sodium, Sugars ]
  3. Sugars focus with a new 100% Daily Value as 100 g/d.  Ingredient list will still show different types of sugars, but they will be grouped together. [Dietitian’s Tip – regardless of the source, all sugars are similar nutritionally, for more information on sugars click here]
  4. Food colours identified individually on Ingredient list.
  5. There is more to come so let your voice be heard! Share your opinions about nutrition labelling with Health Canada. Complete this brief consumer questionnaire and / or complete the technical questionnaire both by January 13th, 2017. This is YOUR chance to help shape the future of nutrition labelling in Canada.

new-nft-2016-12-20_0-18-48

new-nft-2016-additives

Is your teen drinking too much caffeine? Researchers say more education is needed!

(Also published by Ontario Public Health Association, Nutrition Resource Centre News April 12, 2016  http://ow.ly/10zNI7 )

coffee & teens NRC Apr 2016

Drinking caffeine is becoming more common with teens and a new Canadian study points to confusion among high school students in grades 9-12. Teens are aware of the types of caffeinated drinks and their negative health effects but they don’t know about other aspects of caffeine and how much caffeine is safe to drink1. Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and mom of 3, Lucia Weiler has the following key tips that teens and parents should know about caffeine.

All about caffeine

  • Caffeine is found naturally in coffee, tea, chocolate and certain flavours (e.g. those derived from kola and guarana), and may be added to carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks.
  • Caffeine can boost alertness for short periods of time and can cause increased urine flow.
  • Caffeine has NO calories or nutritional value and IS NOT a source of real body energy.  Energy comes from calories.
  • Too much caffeine can cause headaches, irritability, nervousness and rapid heart rate.

How much caffeine is safe to drink?2

  • Children’s caffeine limits are 2.5 mg caffeine/kg of body weight/day. Based on average body weight of children this  works out to be a daily caffeine intake of NO MORE than:
    • 45 mg   aged 4-6 years
    • 62.5 mg aged 7-9 years
    • 85 mg aged 10-12 years

Check out the caffeine meter below to see what this means for your child.

  • Teens (13-19 years) should also limit their daily caffeine intake to no more than 2.5 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. For example if a teen weighs 54 kg (120 lbs) then the maximum safe caffeine intake a day is about 135mg (54 kg x 2.5 mg/kg). This is about one cup (250ml) of coffee or 3 cups of tea.
  • Healthy adults should have no more than 400 mg caffeine/day. This is about the amount found in three cups (250ml or 8 oz) regular coffee or 8 cups of brewed tea.

Caffeine meter

  • 1 cup (250 ml) coffee has about 140 mg caffeine while 1 cup of tea has 2/3 less caffeine at about 45 mg per cup
  • A 355 ml can of cola has about 40 mg caffeine while 1 cup (250 ml) of cola has about 30 mg caffeine
  • The amount of caffeine in energy drinks varies from that found in a weak cup of coffee (90 mg) to much higher levels. This means that one or two energy drinks can easily be over the safe caffeine limits for teens. Examples of Energy Drinks include Red Bull, AMP Energy, Monster, Rockstar, 5 Hour Energy etc. For more information on Energy Drinks read the labels and visit Health Canada’s website on caffeinated Energy Drinks
  • Sports drinks (ex. Gatorade, Powerade) do NOT contain caffeine. Herbal teas, decaffeinated drinks are caffeine free.

** Lucia Weiler is a Registered Dietitian who specializes in communication, marketing, education and regulatory affairs related to food and beverages.  As principal of Weiler Nutrition Communications Inc., Lucia provides expert services in nutrition trends, media, food science and labelling compliance.  Lucia is an engaging speaker and writer who translates up to date scientific knowledge to doable, relevant recommendations that motivates others. As the Co-Founder of Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists,TM and Faculty at Humber College School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism she teaches nutrition, food safety and professional development. For more insightful nutrition tips visit www.weilernutrition.com or follow on Twitter/Instagram @LuciaWeilerRD

______________________________

1. Turton P, et al. (2016) More education needed for adolescents consuming caffeine; J Nutr Educ Behaviour
2. Dietitians of Canada (2013) What is caffeine? Is it bad for my health?http://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/What-is-caffeine.aspx

5 Easy tips for the love of food and your heart!

for the love of foodFebruary is Heart Month and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner it’s a great time to celebrate love. It can also be a reminder to make heart healthy choices as part of everyday life. Food plays such an important role in festivities and long after the day is gone memories of delicious bites and flavourful aromas linger. Food is truly an emotional connector and as Chef Jamie Oliver said it so well “food can be a hug’. In our family cooking a meal and sharing it with others is a love language we all speak and understand. Here are some tips to help you enjoy a way of eating that spreads the love of food and heart health at your table.

  1. Go for whole grains – make at least half your grain choices whole grains.
  2. Make half your plate vegetables – the more colour, variety vibrancy the better.
  3. Include milk and alternatives – add them to smoothies, soups and casseroles.
  4. Chose lean meat or go for alternatives. Take the pulse pledge – add beans, chickpeas or lentils to your favourite meals.
  5. Walk the walk – stay physically active to boost your heart health.

Happy & Heart Healthy February!

P.S. – Check out the recipes page for delicious food that fits with a healthy eating plan.  http://www.weilernutrition.com/food-blog-recipes/