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Dietetic Directions Blog - Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo
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Dietetic Directions Blog

Halloween Superfood: Pumpkin Seeds

Did you know that the name pumpkin comes from the Greek word ‘pepon’, meaning ‘large melon’?  Similarly, pumpkins are technically a fruit because they contain seeds.  In fact, the average pumpkin contains about 500 seeds.  Today, let’s explore the outstanding nutritional profile of pumpkin seeds!   Truly a yearlong superfood!   DYK pumpkins are technically a fruit because they contain seeds? Click To Tweet   Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are usually green in colour, semi-flat and oval shaped.   They have a pleasant nutty taste and a chewing texture.  Pumpkin seeds are most often roasted and do not need to be refrigerated.  Their outstanding nutrition profile will have you running to...

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Fall Throwdown: Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams

Sweet potatoes and yams- are they the same?  This great question is not uncommon to overhear two people deliberating.  I have over-heard this exact conversation amongst colleagues in the lunchroom, on television and even in the yoga change room! So today, let’s discuss the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. This way, next time you are asked or over-hearing this common casual conversation, you can jump right in and contribute!     Grocery Store Shopping: Are Sweet Potatoes and Yams the Same? In most Canadian grocery stores the short answer is yes.  Sweet potatoes have traditionally (and wrongfully) been referred to as “yams”, which has lead to consumer confusion.  Therefore, in grocery...

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My Food Gratitude

Food is amazing!  Truly it is; if it weren’t for food we wouldn’t be alive today. Yet food (in general) is often met with mixed feelings that are not always positive.  Food is often categorized as either “bad” or “good” and food is often broken down to its chemical components like macro and micronutrients.  Today, in honour of Thanksgiving, let’s take time to give food thanks!  Let’s share our love for foods as not only something that nourishes our bodies but also a source of tremendous enjoyment.     My blog today was inspired by the “Book of Awesome” by Neil Pasricha.  In this book he explores the little things...

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Sugar: How Much Should we be consuming?

Yesterday, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada issued a new position statement recommending adults and children limit consumption of added sugars to no more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.  This recommendation equates to 12 teaspoons of added sugar daily, which is less than half of the current average intake of 25 teaspoons of added sugars daily!  Yikes! Our current sugar intake is the equivalent to a person consuming 20 bags of sugar a year.  Something has certainly got to give.   Added sugars should be limited to no more than 10% of daily calorie intake (Heart & Stroke) Click To Tweet   This position statement thankfully comes at a...

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Healthy School Lunches Made Easy!

The briskness in the air tells us that back-to-school time is fast approaching.  Parents are already finding me in anticipation of making these infamous lunches and expressing understandable concern that they are packing the right foods to meet the nutrition needed for their growing child.  Today, making lunches will get a whole lot simpler with strategies to make this process a breeze.     1. Take the Teaching Opportunity!  I recently watched a YouTube video for making school lunches where the speaker made the bold comparison that parents teach their children to be independent with using the toilet or getting dressed in the morning but do not provide the same “skill-teaching”...

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Food vs. Vitamins: Your Top Questions Answered!

Today we will explore common questions I receive on the need for taking vitamin/mineral supplements versus getting your vitamins through your diet. Question 1: Are supplements as effective as foods when it comes to getting adequate nutrition? The benefit of receiving adequate nutrition from wholesome foods is that you also receive an abundance of other important nutrients that supplements alone do not provide.  When consuming foods we receive not only one vitamin/mineral but a synergistic effect of the vitamins and minerals in the food working together.  For example, one cup of strawberries provides 150% of your daily vitamin C but this fruit also packs heart healthy potassium and fibre...

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Tips when Cooking for One or Two

I am thrilled to introduce Kate Park as my guest blogger and Dietitian extraordinaire!  Kate is a self-proclaimed foodie who vibrantly demonstrates that healthy cooking does not mean boring or tasteless. Kate leads interactive cooking classes, makes regular CTV appearances and works at a Family Health Team.  Kate also posts awesome content in her blog, the Sensible Foodie.  When you live on your own or with one other person, cooking can sometimes be a challenge. Many products are sold in family sized packages, leaving you with lots of leftovers that sometimes go bad before you can finish them. But it is not hopeless; you just have to be...

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Proposed Nutrition Labels: Have Your Say Canada!

Exciting news in the nutrition world!  This week, Health Canada released proposed changes to nutrition labeling on packaged foods.  The purpose of these changes is to make nutrition labels easier to read and understand.  This is such an important topic since we know that seven out of ten Canadians are looking at the nutrition information on labels to help them make food choices (Tracking Nutrition Trends Survey, 2014).  As a consulting dietitian, I educate clients on how to interpret food labels to make informed food choices.  I fully support many of Health Canada’s proposed label changes as beneficial ways to simplify the labels and enhance public awareness...

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Is this “Hunger” or “Appetite”?

What’s the difference between eating for “hunger” versus eating for “appetite”?   We often mistakenly use these words interchangeably.  Today, let’s focus on getting in tune with our body to distinguish between eating for hunger versus eating for appetite.   Knowing the difference will allow you to be a more mindful eater with awareness of what your body needs for nourishment. Here is a situation.  You are offered a refreshing scoop of French vanilla ice cream drizzled with hot chocolate sauce.  If this sounds tempting, you would likely feel a desire for this sweet treat.  If so, you have experienced appetite!  To confirm that it is an appetite response, ask...

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