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Meet 10 of the hardest working foods on the planet

Meet 10 of the hardest working foods on the planet
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Check out our list of the 10 hardest-working foods:

Carrots

Blueberries

Salmon

Tomato

Oatmeal

Broccoli

Beans

Eggs

Lower-Fat Yogurt

Sweet Potato

BY JUDY OWEN
Winnipeg Health Region
Wave, March / April 2010

Mother probably always told you to eat your vegetables and fruits because they're good for you. She was right, of course, but it takes a variety of items from Canada's Food Guide to fuel our bodies.

With that in mind, we asked a panel of experts to help us cook up a list of 10 of the hardest working foods on the planet.

The panel, all registered dietitians with the Winnipeg Health Region, was asked to make choices based on nutritional content, taste, versatility, affordability and accessibility.

Panelist Shannon Carpentier, who works at Nor'West Co-op Community Health Centre, points out that we need more than 50 different vitamins and minerals each day.

Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide lists four food groups that should be the foundation of our daily diet: vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives and meat and alternatives. "When you look at these (10 hardest-working) foods, what it all comes down to is that these foods fit into one of the four food groups," Carpentier says. "And many of these foods are found around the perimeter of the grocery store, so they have less processing and food additives."

Panelist Sheryl Bates Dancho, Regional Clinical Nutrition Manager - Community, notes the 10 foods are also low in sodium (salt). "From a vegetable-and-fruit perspective, we have chosen a variety of colours. Each of the different colours of vegetables and fruits contain different types of nutrients," she says.

While some people think healthy foods are more expensive, Bates Dancho says that's not the case if you put some thought into your meal planning. "If you buy them at appropriate times of the year, you can find vegetables and fruits that are affordable," she says.

"If you purchase them in season and store them in the freezer, you can have access to them year-round," adds Bates Dancho.

The list of foods that follows is not meant to be the final word on the subject. But it does offer a good starting point for anyone looking to make healthy selections the next time they go grocery shopping. You can learn more about healthy eating choices by consulting Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide at Health Canada's website.

Wave: March / April 2010

About Wave

Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.

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