news & trends

3 out of 5 adults have a chronic disease! Are you one of them?

chronic disease apr 2017

Did you know that 4 out of 5 Canadian adults are at risk for chronic disease, and 3 out of 5 Canadian adults actually live with a chronic disease? [1]  The top 4 chronic diseases in Canada are Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Chronic Respiratory disease. The good news is that 40% of cancers, 80% of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and respiratory disease are preventable by reducing common risk factors such as:

  • poor nutrition
  • lack of physical activity
  • smoking
  • harmful use of alcohol.

According to the World Health Organization, an unhealthy diet is one of the primary risk factors for chronic disease. Research shows that diet counselling makes a difference. For example, structured and intensive lifestyle interventions delivered by dietitians can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 60% in clients at risk.[2]

What can you do? 

  • Eat a nutritious and healthy diet, including lots of fruit and vegetables
  • Don’t smoke or use other forms of tobacco
  • Limit your alcohol consumption to Canada’s LOW risk drinking guidelines
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Get regular physical activity

How do you know which nutrition information to trust?

There is so much nutrition information out there that Canadians don’t know what to believe. It can be challenging to know which online nutrition information is credible and which is not. [3] For your food and nutrition questions – ask a Registered Dietitian. Registered Dietitians are the most trusted food and nutrition experts who are committed to helping Canadians enjoy safe, nutritious, affordable and healthy eating.  As nutrition experts, dietitians can help you decide on and find factual information that’s relevant to your health and wellness needs. Contact us or check out the ‘Your Health’ section at www.dietitians.ca.

 

[1] Chronic Disease Alliance Prevention Canada (2016)  http://www.cdpac.ca/media.php?mid=1411
[2] Dietitians of Canada, The impact of diet counselling (2015) https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Public/Chronic-Disease-2-pager.aspx
[3] Dietitians of Canada Nutrition Month (2017) www.dietitians.ca

Spotlight on Metabolic Syndrome – Highlights from the Canadian Nutrition Society Conference

CNS 2016 conf snag it cropped 4

Metabolic Syndrome is a dangerous health condition affecting 1 in 5 Canadians. Despite it’s prevalence, little is known about metabolic syndrome. At the Canadian Nutrition Society’s 2016 Conference, experts shed light on this growing public health crisis.

Metabolic Syndrome was only identified about 20 years ago and is not a disease itself but a group of health conditions that includes high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels, and excess abdominal fat. People with metabolic syndrome are also more likely to have chronic inflammation, another sign of health in danger.

Lucia & Penny K-E CNS lowe resolution

Lucia Weiler, RD & Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished Professor of Nutrition

Here are the key takeaway messages from the conference:

  • Dr Penny Kris-Etherton, Pennsylvania State University shared, “The power of a healthy diet is remarkable in lowering metabolic syndrome risk.” A high quality diet that especially includes more fruit and vegetable intake reduces risk of metabolic syndrome. Best results are achieved with concurrent weight loss, but changing to a healthy diet improves metabolic syndrome even without weight loss.
  • Dr. Wendy Ward, Brock University explained that diabetes weakens bone structure and increases the risk of bone fractures in people with metabolic syndrome.
  • Gut bacteria contribute to positive health. Dr Comelli, University of Toronto recommended we should aim to have a diverse gut microbiome that resembles a diverse rainforest not a barren desert.
  • Dr. Angelo Tremblay, Laval University agreed and stated that “Yogurt is the best player of the dairy food team” because it is nutrient dense and provides probiotics to boost good gut bacteria.
  • Dr. Benoit Lamarche, Laval University reviewed the new research on saturated fatty acids and its impact on heart disease. He stressed the importance to identify the source of dietary saturated fat and to advise individuals to enjoy whole, unprocessed foods more often to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Lamarche praised the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s position statement on Saturated Fat, Heart Disease and Stroke.
  • Dr. Khursheed Jeejeebhoy, University of Toronto and the father of clinical nutrition in Canada introduced a Metabolic Syndrome CHANGE program and offered these 3 tips for for dietary change:
    1. Advise people they have Metabolic Syndrome
    2. Explain to them it is a life threatening condition
    3. Engage patients and provide them with personalized tools for change best suited to them
  • Finally, Jennifer Sygo, Registered Dietitian closed the conference by sharing practical tips for helping clients make meaningful nutirition and lifestyle changes to achieve their personal health goals. There is no magic diet – rather, the best diet for weight loss is the one that works for you and you can stick to it. Dietitians provide credible, evidence-based information, and translate the science into the context of the whole diet for consumers to understand.