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Gaps In The Canadian Diet

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - According to a recent national study that examined eating trends, Canadians are still not getting the nutrients they need in their diets.

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Rather than eat well balanced meals, many people often consume excess amounts of foods considered "extras", that are not part of the four food groups as identified by Canada's Food Guide, for their energy and fat intake. Yet these provide very little in the way of protein and nutrients. These foods include fast food, candy (e.g. chocolate bars), snacks (chips), soft drinks, coffee and condiments (e.g. ketchup), that can be high in fat, oils, sugar or salt - and of course, calories.

The study also found that a significant proportion of the population was choosing less than the minimum number of servings from each of the four food groups. Specifically, more than half of adult respondents were not consuming the minimum number of milk products or the minimum five servings of vegetables and fruit per day. For women in particular, this results in lower than recommended intakes of calcium, folic acid, iron and zinc. These trends suggest Canadians are not getting the necessary levels of certain essential nutrients in their diets.

Canadians should try to eat a variety of foods from Canada's Food Guide and take a daily multivitamin as nutritional insurance. For those who may not be getting the recommended amount (2 - 4 servings) of dairy products, taking a calcium supplement, is good idea to help ensure good bone health.

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