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People Stuggle to Eat Healthy

Most people struggle to eat healthy foods throughout the day and at each meal, according to results of an Ipsos-Reid poll for Canada's President's Choice label. The poll found 94% say they just can't live without a favorite food, while 7% concede they almost never make healthy food choices. "Canadians want food choices that help make it easier to eat better and live healthier without giving up the foods and flavors they love," says Paul Uys, Vice President, Loblaw Brands Limited. Most surveyed do understand the importance of reducing the salt content of their diets and increasing fiber, Uys noted.

These results "suggest they're not eating as well as they could because of their must-have meals," say officials at Presidents Choice. "In fact, 59% say they'd like to eat healthier but don't want to give up their favorite foods, with 40% citing comfort foods like macaroni and cheese or pizza as real weaknesses.". Finding Time a Priority -- Doing It Hard. Despite these findings, the survey found people know it's important to eat well.

Roughly 82% say finding the time to prepare and eat healthy meals is a priority, yet half still find it difficult to make healthy food choices. "There are a number of other perceived barriers to healthy habits other than favorite foods that may explain why eating well can be a challenge," Presidents Choice said in discussing the survey results. "Time of day certainly seems to be a factor, with more than 80% of Canadians finding it hard to eat properly at some point.". A quarter find it hard to eat healthy snacks during the day, with 30% of woman falling prey to temptation, compared to 17% of the men surveyed.

Men, by contrast, struggle with breakfast, with 24% saying they do not start their day with a healthy breakfast, compared to 17% of women. This works out to 21% finding it hard to eat a healthy breakfast. Fewer people have a problem eating healthy meals the rest of the day. Even so, eating a healthy lunch is a problem for 16% of people surveyed and 15% find supper a struggle. Cost, taste, and choice.

The perceived cost, taste and overwhelming number of choices when it comes to healthier food products also seem to be barriers for many. In fact, 60% feel that the costs of eating healthfully have increased, while 54% say their family would eat more healthfully if the nutritious options tasted better. Furthermore, 59% indicate they can be confused by the many different things they're supposed to look out for when shopping for healthy foods. "Canadians do recognize that specific foods are important in achieving a well-balanced diet," says Uys. "Interestingly enough, the Healthy Eating survey found that 68% think it's important to incorporate sodium-reduced foods into their diet, and 58% of younger Canadians aged 18-34 agree with this statement. This is an age group that typically loves their salty foods, so the fact that they're aware that it's important to choose foods that offer responsible sodium levels is encouraging.

". About 40% of those surveyed would like to incorporate more fibre into their diet, but find it difficult. "There are so many great and easy ways to add fibre to your diet - yogurt with a high-fibre muffin and a handful of almonds is a perfect breakfast to take on the go," says Uys. The Joy of Soy. The Healthy Eating survey found that just 29% of Canadians incorporate soy protein into their diet on a regular basis.

While overall, soy is just one component of healthy eating towards lowering cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk, evidence continues to be strong on the benefit of soy protein compared to animal protein sources. Not only is soy a great source of vegetable protein and so low in saturated fat - but many soy foods can be a source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and a good source of calcium. Despite this, 27% of Canadians feel they get enough protein from other sources; 25% aren't familiar with soy protein; 20% say they're not interested; 18% don't like the taste; 13% don't know how to incorporate it into their daily diet; and five% don't know how much they should eat. Nutritionists recommend consuming 25 grams of soy protein each day - about eight grams per meal. "When you consider that just one glass of PC Soy Beverage contains about a third of your daily requirement, it's easy to swallow," says Uys.

Resources. Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals. .

By: Brian Clancey


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