Healthier Entrée Ideas

What does a healthier entrée look like?

[Expand All]   [Collapse All]

  1. Sodium is a mineral found in salt.  Too much dietary sodium can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems. Most Canadians consume more sodium than the upper limit recommended.

    Calories are a measure of the energy in food. Calories come from fats, carbohydrates (including sugars), proteins and alcohol in food.  Fats provide more calories per gram than carbohydrates, protein and alcohol.

    Refer to the following TPH resources at :

  2. Artificial trans-fat can increase the risk for heart disease.

    Artificial trans-fat can be found in processed foods, shortening and hard margarine.

    Read the ingredient list and Nutrition Facts Table to see if there is trans-fat.

    There is artificial trans-fat if you see the word “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list.

  3. Instead of frying foods, which can add fat and calories, use healthier cooking methods like these: Stir-fry, Roast, Grill, Broil, Bake, Poach, Sauté or Steam.

  4. Vegetables and Fruit

    • Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables
      125 mL (½ cup)
    • Leafy vegetables
      250 mL (1 cup)
    • Fresh, frozen or canned fruits
      1 fruit or 125 mL (½ cup)
    • 100% Juice
      125 mL (½ cup)

    Vegetables and fruit have important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fibre.  They are usually low in fat.  Research shows that a diet rich in vegetables and fruit may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.

    Dark, richly coloured vegetables and fruit, such as kale, bok choy, squash, tomato, cantaloupe, are also rich in nutrients.

    Use more locally grown*, seasonal produce.

    *Foodland Ontario

  5. Grain Products

    • Bread
      1 slice (35 g)
    • Bagel
      ½ bagel (45 g)
    • Flat breads
      ½ pita or ½ tortilla (35 g)
    • Cooked rice, bulgur or quinoa
      125 mL (½ cup)
    • Cereal
      Cold: 30 g
      Hot: 175 mL (¾ cup)
    • Cooked pasta or couscous
      125 mL (½ cup)

    Milk and Alternatives

    • Milk or powered milk (reconstituted)
      250 mL (1 cup)
    • Canned milk (evaporated)
      125 mL (½ cup)
    • Fortified soy beverage
      250 mL (1 cup)
    • Yogurt
      175 g (¾ cup)
    • Cheese
      50 g (1 ½ oz.)

    Meat and Alternatives

    • Cooked fish, shellfish, poultry, lean meat
      75 g (2 ½ oz.)/125 mL (½ cup)
    • Cooked legumes
      175 mL (3/4 cup)
    • Tofu
      150 g or 175 mL (¾ cup)
    • Eggs
      2 eggs
    • Peanut or nut butters
      30 mL (2 Tbsp)
    • Shelled nuts and seeds
      60 mL (¼ cup)

  6. Whole grains have 3 parts:

    • bran
    • germ
    • endosperm

    Examples of whole grains: whole oats, brown and wild rice, barley, buckwheat, quinoa, rye, bulgur, corn and popcorn

    A whole grain product should have the whole grain as the first ingredient on the food label.

  7. Plant based Meat Alternatives provide an inexpensive source of protein, are low in fat and high in fibre.

    Tip: Use dried lentils or canned beans that have no added salt.

  8. Heart healthy oils are unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fats that can lower risk for heart disease.

    Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and can be found in vegetable oils such as, canola, corn, flaxseed, olive, peanut, soybean and sunflower.

    Tropical oils (coconut, palm and palm kernel oils), lard, shortening and butter are not heart healthy, as they are high in saturated fat.

    Although unsaturated fats are a healthier type of fat, use sparingly. All fats have the same amount of calories (9 kcal/g).