Omega-3 is the name for fatty acids belonging to the group of so-called ‘good fats’. The polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are of vital importance to the body and for the maintenance of good health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for good health, yet the body can't make these vital fats on its own, so you need to eat omega-3-rich foods several times a week to maintain an adequate supply.
The Heart & Stroke Foundation™ recommends Canadians consume at least two servings of fish a week as part of a healthy diet. For those who can’t get enough fish in their diet, the Heart & Stroke Foundation™ recommends Canadians speak to their healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits of fish oil and omega-3 supplements.
Eating well with Canada’s Food Guide
By following the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide, you can be assured you’ll meet your daily requirements for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, helping you to achieve overall health and vitality. You’ll also reduce your risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease.
Canada's food guide recomendations
- Eating plenty of vegetables and fruit. Every day, include a dark green (such as broccoli, asparagus and romaine lettuce) and an orange (such as carrots and sweet potato) vegetable.
- Making half of your grain products whole grain (such as brown and wild rice, bulgur, quinoa and oatmeal) each day.
- Serving fish twice a week (such as rainbow trout, salmon and sardines).
- Including beans, lentils and tofu more often in your diet.
- Drinking lower fat milk and milk alternatives such as fortified soy beverages. Be aware that other fortified drinks such as orange juice, rice, almond and potato do not contain the same level of protein found in milk or soy.
- Using unsaturated oils such as canola, olive, and soybean as well as non- hydrogenated margarines (no more than 25 to 45 mL/2 to 3 tbsp a day).
- Taking a Vitamin D supplement if you are over the age of 50. If you are planning on becoming pregnant, take a multivitamin that contains folic acid. Once pregnant, your supplements should also contain iron
Canada’s Food Guide recommends limiting
- Foods and beverages high in calories, fat, sugar or salt
- Saturated fats from fatty meats, butter, lard, ghee, shortening and hard margarines
- Trans fats in such foods as convenience and deep-fried foods as well as baked goods such as doughnuts, cookies, tortillas, parathas, steamed buns, pies and tarts.
- Salt (sodium)
- Sugar in such items as soft drinks and desserts
Canada’s Food Guide also outlines the number of servings we should eat from each of the Four Food Groups and provides guidance on portion sizes. the recommended number of serving sizes is based on age and gender. Look at the chart below to find your recommended number of Food Guide servings per day. remember that it is just the average amount that people should try to eat each day.
Recommended number of Food Guide Servings per day