Common "Ask a Dietitian" Questions - Answered by a CFPCN Dietitian
How can I cut back on salt?
The best strategy is to take the salt shaker off the table! Other useful methods include eliminating salt from recipes, experimenting with different spices for flavour and using fresh foods as often as possible (vs. frozen prepared or canned foods).
What's the difference between butter and margarine?
Butter is an animal product and therefore contains saturated fat. Saturated fat (especially those in large quantities) can raise cholesterol and increase risk of heart disease. Non-hydrogenated margarine is made from liquid oil and is unsaturated fat, which does not have the same negative effects on cholesterol levels.
How much protein do I need in a day? Do I need more if I work out more?
The average person needs about 0.8 to 1.0 gram of protein per kg of body weight (based on a healthy weight). That means that someone who weighs 75 kg needs between 60 to 75 grams of protein in a day. If you're following Canada's Food Guide and eating the recommended servings of meat and alternatives and milk products then you are likely getting enough protein. For those who are engaging in regular or intense physical activity, it is suggested that you aim for the upper end of the recommended range. If you're confused about the amount of protein in different foods or when to eat them, sign up for Ask a Dietitian or talk to a registered dietitian.
How can I curb cravings?
Cravings are often your body's way of telling you it needs something and it's not always food! Try drinking a glass of water or doing something instead of eating (call a friend, go for a walk around the block, etc.) It's also important to make sure you're eating balanced meals to ensure you're not missing out on any nutrients. To find out more about a balanced diet, sign up for Ask a Dietitian or talk to a registered dietitian.