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What is new at Health Check?
Health Check remains committed to supporting Canadians to make wise choices, by ensuring the nutrient criteria continue to strengthen and evolve, and by providing nutrition information and guidance to help them make healthy choices. All Health Check nutrient criteria are developed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s registered dietitians and other nutrition experts based on recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide. Health Check plays an important and practical role in the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s healthy eating strategy.
New added sugar criteria
Supporting the leadership role the Heart and Stroke Foundation is taking to combat obesity and drawing on recent recommendations from the American Heart Association around added sugar intake, changes have been made to the Health Check nutrient criteria. Milk and yogurt products in the Health Check program can no longer contain added sugar, and soy beverages must not contain added sugar levels higher than those found in plain milk.
“Milk provides many important nutrients such as calcium and vitamins A and D. Drink plain skim, 1% or 2% milk every day and choose plain lower-fat yogurt. Other milk products such as chocolate milk are usually high in sugar, so should be enjoyed as an occasional treat,” says Carol Dombrow, Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian.
To help you limit the amount of sugar your children consume follow five basic rules provided by Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian Alyssa Rolnick.
Food Category removals
Two food categories have also been removed from the program. To remain consistent with the recommendations in the Food Guide, French Fries and olives are no longer part of Health Check. Health Check recommends that Canadians read the Nutrition Facts table to compare products and make healthy choices in all food categories.
“Not all French Fries are created equal,” counsels Dombrow, “In the freezer aisle, make choices that are low in sodium and fat, and then bake rather than fry them, and try not to add salt at the table. You can also make your own French Fries at home using fresh cut potatoes tossed with a small amount of olive oil and spices such as chilli powder and roasted in the oven.”
For more tips on how to reduce sodium visit our Resources section.
Continued work in sodium reduction
The Heart and Stroke Foundation strongly supports the July 2010 recommendations from the Sodium Working Group (SWG) to reduce sodium consumption. The Foundation will continue to work with government and industry to create more healthy eating choices for Canadians, including through Health Check.
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