Healthy Eating (by Davidicus Wong)


The Empowered Patient: Healthy Eating

Canada’s Food Guide indicates the recommended servings per day for each of the 4 food groups:

  1. Vegetables and fruit
  2. Grain products
  3. Milk and alternatives
  4. Meat and alternatives

We require a small amount of oils and fats in our diet (30 to 45 ml or 2 to 3 tbsp of unsaturated fat). Healthy choices include vegetable oils such as olive, canola and soybean. Avoid saturated and trans fats. Limit butter, hard margarine, lard and shortening.

For patients with diabetes or glucose intolerance: Glycemic Index is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises your blood sugar. Lower GI foods (such as quinoa, whole grains or brown rice) raise blood sugars more slowly than high GI foods (such as white bread or bagels).

For more information on diabetes and glycemic index:

If you have a question about nutrition, Dial a Dietitian (8-1-1).

For more on healthy eating:

Tips on Healthy Eating on a Budget

  1. Cook at home (cheaper than prepared foods).
  2. Cook extra portions and freeze the leftovers for quick meals.
  3. Plan your meals and shop with a list.
  4. Keep an inventory of your pantry supplies and use what you have.
  5. Buy only what you need unless you are sharing with family and friends for cost-sharing.
  6. Know your prices and buy on sale.
  7. Plan healthy snacks, such as raw veggies, low-fat cheese, popcorn, whole wheat bread.
  8. Read labels for unit cost (i.e. cost/100 gm) and best before dates.

Money saving tips:

For meats and alternatives

  1. Buy larger packages of meat on sale. At home, divide them into smaller portions for freezing.
  2. Eat dried or canned beans and lentils; tofu, eggs, canned fish and peanut butter.

For vegetables and fruits:

  1. Buy in season.
  2. Don’t buy fruit that will ripen before you can eat them.
  3. Buy larger bags of frozen vegetables.
  4. Buy canned, frozen or dried fruit.


  1. Buy rice, flour, oats and pasta in bulk.  Buy whole grain bread in bulk and freeze the loaves.


  1. Buy larger portions.  Buy no name brands.


  1. Choose wisely.Make it a goal that matters to you.
  2. Visualize yourself having achieved your goal.Use the power of attraction to reprogram your subconscious mind and prime the pump for success.
  3. Break it down.Turn that daunting supersized goal into manageable morsels. Gain confidence with early success and progressive achievement.
  4. Write down the details.

SMART goals are:

Specific.What are you going to do? Eat more fruit and vegetables? Where and when will you do it?

Measurable.How many fresh fruit/day? One salad every day? Two glasses of skim milk each day?

Achievable.Realistic goals that are do-able for you.

Relevant.The goal has to be important to you and your health.

Time-specific.What day will you start the change? When will you finish?

  1. Anticipate and prepare for roadblocks.
  2. Enlist support.Consult your family doctor, choose a coach you’ll answer to, or get a friend to join you.


What you eat(What you put into your body). What you do(physical activity and rest).

How you feel(emotional wellbeing). How you connect(healthy relationships).


About Davidicus Wong

I am a family physician. I write a weekly newspaper column, Healthwise for the Vancouver Courier, Burnaby Now, Royal City Record and Richmond News.
This entry was posted in Burnaby Division of Family Practice, Empowering Healthcare, empowering patients, Healthy Living and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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