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Eating Healthy Without Being Deprived

Often, we make the mistake of classifying foods in two different categories: good and bad. In fact, there are only foods that should be eaten every day, and foods that should be eaten on occasion1. Foods that are part of Canada’s Food Guide should make up most of our nutrition. Thus, the more nutritious a food is, the more often it should be eaten. Inversely, the more sweet, fat or salty a product is, the less often we should eat it.

With this in mind, no foods are forbidden! Only the frequency at which we eat them is important:


Consumption frequency

Examples of foods

Daily foods

Every day

Fruit, vegetables, fruit and vegetables juices, whole grain cereal products, skimmed or partly skimmed milk, low-fat yogurt and cheese, lean meats, poultry, fish, seafoods, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, etc.


Occasional foods

1-2 times a week

Less nutritious breakfast cereals (Froot Loops, Honey Comb, Rice Krispies, etc.), refined cereal products, deli meats, store-bought muffins, fat dairy products, fat or salty soups and sauces, butter, cream, cream cheese, etc.


Exceptional foods

2-3 times a month

Chocolate bars, cookies, candies, chips, nachos, pastries, pizza, hot-dogs, poutine, soft drinks, ice cream, etc.


The size of the serving we eat is also important. Even if chocolate is one of the foods that we should eat less often, a small square a day is a reasonable serving. Of course, it depends on what others foods we have also eaten on that same day! Inversely, even if you eat cake only once a month, eat only one slice… not the whole cake! Finally, you have to keep you objective in mind. If you wish to lose weight, don’t forget that creating an energy deficit is essential (spending more energy than we eat; for more details, see the article The mathematical explanation of weight loss). Choosing the right foods is therefore very important!

By Vanessa Martin


1. Gouvernement du Québec. 2011. Une vision élargie et inclusive. Internet. http://www.saineshabitudesdevie.gouv.qc.ca/visionsainealimentation/vision.php#les-continuums-de-valeur-nutritive. Page consultée le 21 septembre 2012.

Vanessa Martin

A newcomer to Nautilus Plus, Vanessa Martin holds a degree in nutrition from the Université de Montréal and is a member in good standing of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec. She also works in the hospital setting and loves to blog in her spare time. Passionate and versatile, Vanessa plans on enhancing her knowledge in the field of psychology with an eye to better guiding and motivating the habit-changing endeavors of her clients. Member of a running club, she enjoys taking part in the competitions organized in her area. Vanessa is currently training for a 21 km race and would like to run her first marathon!

Eating Healthy Without Being Deprived is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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