The Regional Municipality of Durham


News Release

March into Nutrition Month by taking small steps to healthier eating

WHITBY, ON February 24, 2014 - March is Nutrition Month and Durham Region Health Department is launching the campaign, “March into Nutrition Month…Take small steps to healthier eating”, encouraging residents to eat healthier by making small changes to their current eating habits.

“Changing your eating habits all at once can be overwhelming and difficult to maintain over time,” explained Adrienne Baltadjian, a public health nutritionist with the Health Department. “For best results, begin with one or two small changes and when you’re ready, add more. Any small change you can make will benefit your health.”

Residents are encouraged to check nutrition information on products to help choose lower sodium options. “Most of the sodium we eat is added to food, especially processed, packaged and restaurant foods,” said Ms. Baltadjian. “By using the nutrition facts table to check the values while grocery shopping, you can compare the sodium content in foods and make better choices.”

According to a national study, most Canadians, including children, consume too much sodium on a daily basis. Adults only require 1500 mg of sodium per day and children require even less. Research has shown that eating too much sodium can cause high blood pressure which can lead to an increased risk for stroke, heart and kidney disease.

In a Canadian study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, it was noted that when dining out, it is difficult to estimate how much sodium is in a meal. An average meal at a Canadian sit-down restaurant contains 2269 mg of sodium. That’s more than one and a half times the sodium most adults need each day. Ms. Baltadjian suggests checking a restaurant’s website for nutrition information or asking the wait staff for a nutrition pamphlet before ordering.

The Health Department has a number of resources designed to help you make healthier food choices. The “Where’s the Salt?” resource provides information to help reduce salt consumption, while the “Food Label Reading Made Easy” resource helps to simplify the nutrition facts table.

To order these resources or to obtain additional information on healthy eating and nutrition, visit durham.ca/healthyeating, or call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.

 

Media Inquiries:
REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF DURHAM
Glendene Collins - Health Department 905-668-7711, ext. 2999