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Psychosocial environment Physical Environment Personal Health Practices

 

Funded in part by the
Government of Ontario

Nutrition


What is Nutrition? 

In order for human beings to exist, they must provide nourishment to their cells.  This usually occurs through food and drink.   Physical health improves with a healthy diet.  A diet that is lacking in nutrients can have a negative impact on health and lead to a number of ailments including obesity, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. 

There are six major nutrient classifications: protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and water.  

Proteins are one of the building blocks of the body, but can also serve as a fuel source.   Proteins are used by the body for growth and maintenance and aside from water, protein is the most abundant molecule in the body.  Examples of food sources of complete protein include meat, eggs and fish.  

Carbohydrates refer to any food that is particularly rich in the complex carbohydrate starch such as cereals, bread and pasta.  Simple carbohydrates are sugars such as those found in jams and candy.  The Institute of Medicine recommends that American and Canadian adults get between 45-65% of dietary energy from carbohydrates.  

Dietary Minerals are required in the daily diet in order to maintain optimal health.  Some examples of these include calcium, magnesium, chromium and iron.  They can be found naturally in foods and all elements can be obtained through healthy eating but many individuals take dietary supplements to enhance their intake of such minerals. 

Water makes up two-thirds of our body weight.  A 2% drop in water supply can trigger signs of dehydration such as fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on smaller print.  It is one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue.  

Nutrition at Work

Investing in the nutrition of employees can: 
· improve employee morale
· improve productivity
· reduce absenteeism 
· reduce turnover.  
· improve the public and employee perception of the organization’s social responsibility


Tools and Resources

Supportive Environments for Healthy Eating at WorkOur environment can have as much to do with the food we eat as our personal choices.  

Canadian Wellness - Canadian Wellness is a directory of fitness, diet, health, nutrition and other wellness related professionals and their services.

Health Canada - Health Canada works collaboratively with partners and stakeholders to develop and implement evidence-based policy that defines healthy eating and promotes environments that support Canadians in making healthy food choices.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - The Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Action Plan integrates the former Healthy Weights Strategy with the physical activity components of ACTIVE 2010 into a broader, integrated plan for Healthy Eating and Active Living.

The Nutrition Resource Centre (NRC) - The goal of the NRC is to strengthen the capacity of nutrition practitioners in communities across Ontario to deliver quality nutrition programming in a health promotion context.

Healthy Eating: Promoting Nutrition in your Workplace - Project Health is an initiative which provides a variety of health promotion services to workplaces interested in improving and/or sustaining a healthy workplace in Waterloo Region.

Eat Right Ontario - Registered Dietitians provide EatRight Ontario visitors with feature articles on food and nutrition, meal planning advice, healthy eating tips and recipes.

Dietiticians of Canada - Dietitians of Canada is the national professional association for dietitians, representing almost 6000 members at the local, provincial and national levels.
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