NewsCanada March'11
Navigate the food court for healthy options
(NC)—Food courts are busy places. They are usually crowded and noisy with plenty of activity and some very unhealthy choices. But there are times when away from home and without a meal, this is where you find yourself.

Samara Foisy, Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian, agrees that the food court can look like a maze of unhealthy options, and offers some nutritious navigation advice. The first thing to do when landing in the food court is to get a lay of the land. Walk around to see what the options are.

Stevia plant produces a natural, zero–calorie sweetener
(NC)—Many Canadians are concerned about reducing the amount of added sugar in their diet. Zero and low–calorie sweeteners may offer the perfect solution: the sweetness of sugar with a lower calorie count.

Stevia is the source of a natural, plant–derived sweetener with zero calories and zero carbohydrates. The stevia plant is native to South America, specifically Brazil and Paraguay, and has been used for centuries to sweeten foods. Stevia leaves contain naturally sweet compounds that are 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar.

Chewing sugar–free gum after meals can help keep teeth clean
(NC)—How many times have you thought, “I should bring my toothbrush to work, and brush after lunch,” only to forget the thought almost as quickly as it came to you?

April is Oral Health Month – the perfect time to revisit oral care resolutions. The good news is that even if you forget the toothbrush at home, there is one very simple step you can take on a daily basis that can go a long way toward promoting good oral hygiene.

Ontario Greenhouse Veggies are OH–SO–LOCAL!

Fun facts and helpful tips about your local produce!


Did you know?
Greenhouse cucumbers have many aliases. They are often identified as Seedless, English, Euro or Hydroponic Cucumbers.

Did you know?
Mini cucumbers are just a smaller snack–size version of the larger greenhouse cucumber.

Did you know?
Greenhouse cucumbers are considered seedless because they are not pollinated. This is especially helpful for preventing gas caused by eating cucumber seeds! This does not mean they are completely seedless, but the consistency of the seeds is more like that of a seedless watermelon and few and far between.

Reduce sodium while dining out

(NC)—When you are making a choice from a restaurant menu you can usually tell what is in the various dishes by their names or descriptions or photos. If not, the servers can answer most of your questions or they can find out. One ingredient that is harder to identify is sodium (salt). It is almost always there, but you never know how much. This is unfortunate, given that Canadians are eating too much sodium and that most of it – about 77% – comes from packaged foods and meals we eat out.

Making funny faces never tasted so good

(NC)—While the kids are home over the Easter break, bring out their creative side with a fun recipe that will keep them entertained in the kitchen. The recipe takes the much loved Rice Krispies square to the next level by transforming the squares into faces that can be decorated with candies and frosting. The result? A hilarious assortment of characters that your kids have created using their imagination.

To make the decorating even more challenging, have them make a family portrait out of the faces or try to re–create their favourite movie or cartoon character or even the Easter Bunny – the possibilities are limitless and delicious to eat.

Blue mussels go green

(NC)—Sustainability is a term we're hearing more often in today's environmentally conscious world. Increasingly, Canadians are examining what they eat, where it comes from and how the environment is affected by the foods they choose.

When it comes to seafood, farmed blue mussels are one of the greenest choices around. In fact, Monterey Bay Aquarium's seafood watch program lists farmed mussels as a "super green" seafood product. Seafood Watch bases its selections on a variety of factors, including the fishery, habitat, species, management and other factors that affect each species, as well as their Omega 3 content.

How to keep the kitchen safe

(NC)—The kitchen is a great place for family members to come together. Cooking is a great way to involve the entire family in an activity while still getting dinner on the table. While this time can be a great way to bond, it can also be dangerous if food isn't handled properly. Follow these food safety tips to keep the kitchen a safe and fun place:

Keep things separate: A combination of protein and vegetables is great for any meal, but keeping things separate is important for food safety. Designate a separate cutting board for meat and one for vegetables. Make things fun and creative for the kids by allowing them to pick out fun coloured cutting boards for each item.

Trends to watch in natural sweeteners

(NC)— Health conscious consumers are more informed than ever about the importance of making good choices when it comes to a balanced diet. Limiting salt, increasing fibre, and reducing added sugar are among concerns.

According to Hélène Charlebois, an Ottawa–based registered dietitian, cutting back on added sugar is a priority for many of her clients. “Diabetes, obesity and other weight–related health issues are on the rise,” says Charlebois. “My clients are looking for ways to cut back on daily calories without sacrificing taste. Natural sugar substitutes like stevia, which has zero calories and zero carbohydrates are especially appealing.”

Get perfectly sautéed mushrooms every time

(NC)—Perfectly cooked, golden, and caramelized - on top of burgers, steaks, salads, or even by themselves, sautéed mushrooms are an easy way to boost the flavour of your homemade meals. But how do you get perfect sautéed mushroom every time?

There are three secrets that work every time. High heat, don't crowd the pan, and keep them moving.

The first mistake that is often made when preparing sautéed mushrooms is using low to medium heat; the pan needs to be hot, so don't be afraid to turn up the heat.

Make your immunity IQ work for you

(NC)—Keeping our immune systems strong and healthy can be difficult, despite our best efforts to meet daily nutrition requirements outlined by Canada's Food Guide. Diana Steele, registered dietitian, shares just three important ingredients that can help not only nourish the body but keep your immunity strong.

Four fruit boosters – Some fruit more than others give the body an excellent source of immune–boosting nutrients. Kiwifruit, strawberries, blueberries and papaya are not only famous for their delicious taste, but rich vitamin content as well. Eat them fresh and on their own or top some greens for a flavourful salad.

A grocery list for space

(NC)—Did you know that the average Canadian goes to the grocery store at least twice a week? Sorting through thousands of food products, he'll narrow his selection down to a one–page list. It will include the staples to maintain a healthy and nutritious lifestyle, but also the comfort of treats and snacks that can be enjoyed with friends or saved for a special occasion.

At some point this average Canadian will take a long trip far away from any supermarkets. What then to put on the grocery list? Given that this could be you, what is your must–have snack to share, to celebrate and to remind you of home? - It's all about food in Canada!
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(NC)—You may experience the following symptoms after eating because you lack the proper amount of enzymes in your system:

• Gas
• Bloating
• Sleepiness or fatigue
• Heartburn
• Acid reflux
• Nausea