Table 6.6-1. General nutrition recommendations to guide patients with obesity

Make patients aware of the nutritional value of their meals. Advice can include the following recommendations:

– Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, wholegrain foods (eg, wholegrain oats, brown rice), and protein foods (eg, lean meats, legumes, nuts, seeds) and choose protein foods that come from plants more often.

– Choose foods with healthy fats (eg, nuts, seeds, avocado) and reduce saturated fats (processed meats, high-fat dairy, cream).

– Limit highly processed foods (eg, packaged snacks like chips, cookies, sugary drinks, fast foods) or eat them less often and in small amounts.

– Prepare meals and snacks using ingredients that have little to no added sodium, sugars, or saturated fat.

– Choose healthier menu options when eating out.

– Make water your drink of choice, replace sugary drinks with water.

– Read food labels (eg, information on serving size, calories, certain nutrients, and percent daily value [%DV]) as well as lists of ingredients (see Canada’s Dietary Guidelines for more details).

– Remember that food marketing can influence your choices.

Healthy eating is more than the foods we eat. It is also about where, when, why, and how we eat. Advice can include the following recommendations:

– Be mindful of your eating habits.

– Take time to eat.

– Notice when you are hungry and when you are full.

– Cook more often.

– Plan what you eat.

– Involve others in planning and preparing meals.

– Enjoy your food.

– Remember that culture and food traditions can be a part of healthy eating.

– Eat meals with others.