Nutrition Corner

Daily dose of nuts good for health: study

(CTV News, November 21, 2013)

Less meat, more fruits and vegetables cut diabetes risk: study

(CTV News, November 13, 2013)

'Hungry gene' discovery may help solve the obesity problem
(, October 25, 2013) 

For the Rice Lovers…

Ever wondered what type of rice is the most nutritious or the best for blood sugar management? Click here to find out more about different varieties of rice, their effect on blood sugars and more.  

Water May Help With Your Weight Loss Goals

When it comes to quenching thirst, water is your best bet! But it seems that there is another benefit to drinking plenty of water. According to a recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dieters who boost their water intake seem to lose more weight and do it more quickly, than those who don’t change their water intake.

There is no definite explanation as to why water may promote weight loss, but a proposed mechanism is that drinking more water can reduce a person’s caloric intake by squeezing out other calorie-containing beverages such as juice, pop, energy drinks, etc. Also, previous research shows that drinking a big glass of water prior to a meal can suppress appetite and reduce food intake at that meal.

The bottom line is, make water your primary beverage choice! And remember, simply adding more water to your diet will not help with your weight loss goals. You must make positive changes to what you eat, and of course, incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.

For more information, click here
Walking After Meals May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

We have been told for years that healthy eating and physical activity are important for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. While this remains true, new research published at the Diabetes Care journal suggests that the timing of physical activity is also important in reducing the risk of this chronic condition.

Study participants, who were individuals ages 60 and older, completed three different exercise protocols: walking for 15 minutes three times a day after each meal or sustained walking for 45 minutes either at 10:30 am or 4:30 pm. Findings showed that three 15 minute after-meal walks were just as effective in reducing average blood sugar levels over 24 hours, as the sustained 45 minute walk. More importantly, 15 minute after-meal walks were more effective in reducing blood sugar levels at the end of the day, compared to sustained walking.

Study scientist noted that walking should be started about 30 minutes after the meal, when the nutrients are starting to be absorbed into the bloodstream and increase blood sugar levels. Large swings in blood sugar levels do not only increase the risk for diabetes, but can also damage blood vessels and contribute to heart disease.

While more studies are needed in order to be certain that after-meal exercise can help to prevent diabetes, there is no harm in taking a short walk or run an errand after a meal to better stabilize your blood sugars.

For more information on this study click here

Milk Products and Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

Several studies have identified that milk products play a beneficial role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. For example, in a study conducted in 2011, researchers examined participants with high and low milk products intake, and found a 14% reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes in the higher intake group. They also found that each additional serving of milk products was associated with a decrease of 6% in the risk of type 2 diabetes.  

Different nutrients in milk products may contribute to this protective effect, including calcium, vitamin D, protein and fatty-acids (especially trans-palmitoleic acid). Also, milk products have been shown to have a protective effect against excess weight and metabolic syndrome - a combination of risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

You may ask, how many milk products should we eat? Canada’s Food Guide recommends that adults between the ages of 19 - 50 years consume 2 servings of milk and alternatives per day, while adults over the age of 51 years should have 3 servings per day.

One serving of milk and alternatives equals to 1 cup (250 mL/8 fluid oz) of milk, fortified soy beverage, butter milk or cottage cheese, 1.5 oz of cheese or paneer or ¾ cup of yogurt. 

Eating in Front of a TV or Computer Screen is One of the Fastest Ways to Gain Weight

Research shows that snacking in front of a TV or computer screen is one of the fastest ways to pack on extra pounds because people don’t pay attention to how much they are eating. In a study conducted at the Liverpool University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, researchers found that participants who were distracted while they were eating, had poorer memories of their meals. This, in turn, affected their future eating habits. On the other hand, those who had a good recollection of their previously enjoyed meal, felt more satisfied and ate smaller portions in future meals, thus reducing their risk of weight gain (one of the risk factors for developing Type II diabetes).

One strategy that people can take to better control their food portions is to have their meals at the dinner table, and not in front of a TV/computer screen. Eating slowly can also help in recognizing the signals of when you start feeling full and should stop eating. Scientists also suggest that keeping a meal journal or visual reminders of previously eaten meal/snack (such as food wrappers) can help in maintaining a healthy diet.

To learn more about this study, click here

The Benefits of Eating Breakfast

You’ve probably heard before that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, if your goal is to achieve good blood sugar control and shed extra pounds, you have even more reasons why you should NOT skip on this important meal.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine shows that young people who eat breakfast regularly tend to have a better quality diet, better body weight management and better blood sugar control throughout the day, compared to those who skip the morning meal. These beneficial effects of breakfast can in turn prevent/manage obesity, type 2 diabetes and promote an overall healthy lifestyle.

Another recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, further supports the benefits of breakfast, especially if this meal is high in protein. Study participants (young females), who ate a high protein breakfast reported feeling more satisfied and snacked less in the evening on high-fat and sugary snacks. This study suggests that eating a protein-rich breakfast is a potential strategy to prevent overeating. 

Some examples of protein-rich breakfast foods that you can incorporate with your morning meal are Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, low fat/skim milk or fortified soy beverage.  
Diabetes and Sugary Drinks: Research Study                            

A large European study found that drinking just one can of sugar containing soda drink a day can raise the risk of developing diabetes by more than a fifth. These findings support research conducted in the United States, which showed that sugar-sweetened beverages are strongly linked to higher body weight and chronic disease, such as Type 2 diabetes.

The bottom line is that sugary drinks are of low nutritional value, while the best alternatives to quench thirst are water, low fat/skim milk or fortified soy beverages!

Click here to read the full article.  

Healthy Recipes

Interested in expanding your culinary repertoire?
You can learn more about how to create tasty and nutritious meals by trying new recipes on the EatRight Ontario website, which also provides nutrition information for each dish. 

Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada also promotes healthy cooking with delicious recipes from around the world! 

Want to cut your risk of developing diabetes? Go nuts!

Many already know that nuts are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. But did you also know that these delicious snacks may help to reduce the risk of developing diabetes?
A new study from the Journal of Nutrition has shown that women who consumed walnuts at least twice a week, cut their risk of developing diabetes by almost a quarter! While this study was conducted with women only, researchers expect similar health benefits in men.
You can easily incorporate nuts into your diet by adding them to salads, stir fries or your favourite yogurt. Nuts also make an excellent on-the-go snack along with some fresh or dried fruit! Because nuts are high in calories, you should watch the portion size to avoid weight gain. One quarter of a cup or 1 oz is considered a good serving of nuts that will bring plenty of health benefits, without an effect on your waistline!
For more information on this study click here


Often, we are so concerned about calories, fat and sugar in our food that we forget about another very important nutrient – fibre! The health benefits of fibre are countless, and it remains a key part of healthy eating for everyone, including people who have diabetes.

Why is fibre good for our health?

  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels
  • Helps reduce blood cholesterol
  • Can help achieve healthy weight by increasing the feeling of being full
  • Helps with constipation by regulating bowel movement
  • May help protect against colon cancer

How can I add more fibre to my diet?

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (with skin if possible), beans and legumes.
  • Choose whole grain products, such as whole grain breads and breakfast cereal, rolled oats, barley, brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat pasta.
  • Add 1 -2 Tbsp of ground flax seeds or bran to your breakfast cereal, or sprinkle it on your yogurt or a salad.
  • Add toasted nuts and seeds to salads, cereal and stir-fries or have a handful of nuts (1/4 cup) as a healthy snack.
  • Read nutrition labels on food packages and look for products that have more fibre.  High fibre foods have 4 or more grams of fibre per serving.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of fibre.

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