NVHA Launches Nutrition Blog

NVHA Launches Nutrition Blog
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Nisga’a Valley Health Authority (NVHA) is launching a nutrition blog to help keep members informed on what’s discussed at our nutrition information sessions. NVHA Dietitian Caroline Doucet hosts the sessions and began them late last month.

The first session covered heart-healthy foods. During the first half, she spoke about healthy and less healthy foods for the heart. Below were her takeaways from that part.

Heart-Healthy Foods

  •         Foods high in unsaturated fats and fiber are healthy for your heart
  •         High-fibre foods are vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, fruits, whole grains + plant-based proteins like tofu, beans and lentils, and high-fibre cereals
  •         Fatty fishes like salmon, trout and oolichan have more omega-3 than lower fat fish
  •         Foods high in unsaturated fats are nuts, seeds, vegetable oils (olive oil), and avocados


Less Healthy Foods for Heart


  •         For optimal heart health, limit your intake of foods high in salt, saturated fats, and cholesterol
  •         High-sodium foods often include frozen dinners like burritos and pizza, canned soup and chili, and processed meats like hot dogs, sausages and ham
  •         Food high in saturated fats generally derive from animals and include beef, lamb, pork, cream and whole milk; two exceptions are coconut oil and palm oil
  •         Poultry and some meats, including deer and moose meat, are lower in saturated fats and a great source of protein
  •         Foods high in cholesterol include eggs and high-fat dairy products; Low-fat dairy products, including 1% or 2% milk and yogurt, are healthier alternatives for the heart


In the middle of the session, Caroline provided this advice on adopting and following a heart-healthy diet.

  •         Focus on what heart-healthy foods you can add to your diet rather than what foods you can remove from it; This strategy will help you improve your relationship with food and make healthier food choices
  •         View your diet as a whole; For example, adding cream to your coffee is fine if you generally embrace healthy food habits. What you eat most of the time will have a bigger impact on your health than what you eat some of the time, or in small amounts
  •         Add vegetables to your meals; Vegetables go amazing with pasta, omelets, pizza or as a side dish. Contrary to popular belief, frozen vegetables have similar nutrition benefits as fresh vegetables; Moreover, they’re cheap and last a long time
  •         Slowly increase your fibre intake. If you increase it too quickly, you may experience digestive discomfort 

Near the end of the session, Caroline answered these nutrition questions.


Q.)What are healthy eating habits for people without a gall bladder?


A.) If they’re struggling to digest high-fat foods, start them on a low-fat diet and gradually increase their fat intake until they find an amount that works for them. High-fat foods include high-fat meats and dairy products, deep fried foods, nuts and seeds for example.


Q.) Can blueberries and ginger tea improve heart health?


Blueberries contain antioxidants, which can help improve heart health and help prevent heart disease. Many other plant-based foods contain antioxidants too. Ginger can aid in digestion.


View all the blog posts by clicking on our “health resources section” on the top of our website and the “nutrition tab” halfway down the next page.