This kid and adult pasta dish, shown in a handout photo, is ready in 20 minutes and it covers all food groups. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Foodland Ontario
Junk food tends to have an appeal healthy food doesn’t.
But when presented with nothing but healthy options, according to a nutritionist with Sodexo in Quebec, people won’t miss junk food. We should all strive to eat healthy.
“People just kind of fall into (eating junk food). Since there’s so many hot and fresh options, it’s easy to eat well,” said nutritionist Christiane Azzi in a Canadian Press article detailing a “junk food -free zone” for the athletes at the Canada Summer Games village.
“The whole point was to try and get athletes off on a good start with adequate nutrition to help them perform better.”
Foods such as omelettes, pasta, stir-fry, sandwiches, salad, soups and fresh-cut fruit were available for the athletes. They’ve also premiered a program, 3-2-1-Go! It deals with what athletes should eat three, two and one hour before the games begin.
Azzi said in the article, three hours before athletes can eat a full meal with one-third carbohydrates to replace glycogen, a source of energy stored in the muscles that is “depleted during exercise.” Good supplements include rice, pasta, potatoes, legumes or starchy veggies such as corn.
One-third of the plate has fresh vegetables with the final third has protein such as beef, pork, fish, chicken or specific beans.
Two hours before competition athletes can eat “something to sustain but not a full meal, such as half a tuna sandwich with carrots and a glass of milk.” One hour before exercise athletes need energy, but nothing “heavy or fatty” as well as “minimal protein because it’s too hard to digest.” Some examples include a banana and yoghurt or a bowl of cereal with fruit.
Following an hour of exercise people should replenish with a snack such as peanut butter on toast, fruit or yoghurt. Within the next few hours a full meal should be eaten.
Regardless of whether we’re an athlete or not, eating healthy with regular exercise is important. The athletes in the Canada Summer Games have no choice but to avoid junk food and eat healthy. We should make similar choices on our own to stay healthy.
Those tips are helpful for anyone. It is fact we are becoming a more and more complacent society to sit in front of computer screens or screens on our phones.
Almost 29 per cent of Saskatchewan youth, for instance, between the ages of 12 and 17 are overweight or obese as of 2012, an 18.1 per cent increase since 2011, according to the Canadian Community Health Survey.
Similar statistics are echoed across Canada. This is not a new trend, but it isn’t a good one either. We need to stay healthy. Exercising is an important part of that undoubtedly, but so is nutrition.
The two concepts play hand-in-hand with one another. This isn’t to say we can’t treat ourselves once in a while to some unhealthy options, provided more often than not we eat healthy and stay active as much as possible no matter how young or old we are.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.