Ten Things to Know about Healthy Eating

University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Chopping vegetables




Advice floods in from all corners about diets and healthy eating. From the food pyramid to fad diets, from books to blogs to celebrity chefs, some advice is good, some is outrageous and a lot is complicated and hard to live by. Healthy eating shouldn’t be hard, but it often seems to be.

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute’s “10 Tips for Healthy Eating” can help change that.We wanted to have one go-to place that makes healthy eating simpler,” said registered dietitian Kathleen Turner. Her colleagues at the Heart Institute and Maria Ricupero of the University Health Network in Toronto helped develop the list.

Much of the information until now has focused on what we eat, not the how. These tips offer a holistic way of thinking about eating and look more at the big picture of the whole foods we should eat,” she explained. “It’s about eating food, not nutrients.”

The 10 points draw on a solid foundation of accepted guidelines and best practices. They also incorporate newer research that is shifting the emphasis from specific nutrients to whole foods. In the past, food advice tended to focus on nutrients such as protein, cholesterol and vitamins.

“They are also based on our experience with patients,” Turner said. “I get asked the same things all the time, and I wanted the 10 tips to address some of those questions.” Working in Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation gives her a perspective that spans different realities. Some people are looking to avoid heart disease while others are recovering from a cardiac event or procedure.

Most people find that eating a variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains gives them necessary nutrients without having to worry about the details. “It represents a change in philosophy about nutrition that focuses on avoiding processed food and preparing your own meals using whole foods,” said Turner. “Everyone can use these 10 Tips to eat healthy delicious tasting food.”

Download the printable version (PDF)