Today marks the start of Nutrition Month, and the theme this year is “Unlock the Potential of Food.” Food has the potential to fuel us, bring us together, prevent disease and heal. Unfortunately, it can also confuse us, stress us out, make us feel guilty, and of course, contribute to health problems.
Whether food is a positive or negative force in your life is partly driven by where you get nutrition information. Start with a google search or pick up tips from Facebook and you’re playing nutrition roulette, seeing the most popular, but not necessarily the most accurate information.
When researchers assessed the accuracy of the top 100 health-related articles circling the Internet in 2018, only 5 of the 18 food and nutrition articles received a positive credibility rating. (!)
So in honour of Nutrition Month, here are 5 resources you can trust to help you unlock the nourishing, joyful potential of food.
- The 2019 Nutrition Month website, powered by Dietitians of Canada, contains 10 printable feature recipes that look delicious, from Avocado and Crab Remoulade Sandwich to Bruschetta Fish. You’ll also find 5 printable fact sheets, including this “potential to fuel” sheet with 11 snack ideas and 5 tips for healthy snacking.
- UnlockFood.ca, home to hundreds of evidence-based articles written by Registered Dietitans, if you’re looking for more detailed information about a particular topic, from diabetes to eating on a budget.
- Cookspiration, an app created by Dietitians of Canada, which contains hundreds of inspiring recipes, all beautifully photographed. There’s also a menu planner, which will suggest a week’s worth of meals after you choose from cristeria like “gluten free” or “vegetarian”. You can delete or swap out the recipes and then even print a shopping list. And I’ve had good luck with the recipes. Dietitians are good at hitting that “sweet spot” where satisfying and wholesome overlap.
- Bad Ass Non-Diet Dietitian or #BANDD, a non-diet celebration of Nutrition Month, hosted by Health at Every Size (HAES) ® Dietitian Vincci Tsui, RD. Every day she’s featuring a dietitian who specializes in intuitive eating, mindful eating, and/or a Health at Every Size ® approach. If you relationship with food or your body is troubled, you may find Vincci and dietitians like her refreshing and empowering. You can follow her and/or the hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
- Dietitians of Canada (DC) Member Blogs collects and disseminates blog posts from a curated list of DC members who have committed to writing evidence-based, ethical, educational, not promotional content. We don’t typically go viral, but we’re a practical, reliable source, and we understand the challenges people have with food. Follow DC Member Blogs on Facebook or Twitter to see new posts by members when they’re published.
You might have noticed that all of my suggestions feature content created by Registered Dieititans. That’s because we’re the food experts you can trust. We undergo comprehensive and rigorous training, both on the job and in universities.
“Dietitian” is a protected title across Canada, just like physician, nurse and pharmacist, so we’re accountable to provincial colleges who protect public interest by ensuring that members have the proper education and training to provide professional, competent and ethical services. (Our American colleagues are called Registered Dietitian Nutritionists —RDNs — but the training and accountability are similar.)
As you know, in my practice I focus on heart health, but dietitians work in many other diverse areas of nutrition, and in various settings, including hospitals, grocery stores, community health centres, universities, rehabilitation facilities, seniors’ residences and long-term care settings. If you want to find a local dietitian with a particular specialty, try Dietitians of Canada’s Find a Dietitian tool.
Oh yes, and we dietitians love food. It’s our passion and our calling. So let us help you unlock the positive potential of food.
Adapted from the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at www.nutritionmonth2019.ca.
p.s. Dietitians’ Day is March 20. I’m into chocolate and hugs. Just saying.