The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

Is the food that we eat good for us?

thumbnail-org-foodYou can walk into a grocery store, grab a pre-cooked chicken, a bag of potato wedges and a bottle of pop, drive home and you have yourself dinner for under $10 and in under 10 minutes, depending on how close you live.

With modern day busy lifestyles, food choices have to be quick, simple and ready to go, says Michelle Malmberg, holistic nutritionist.

But is all this quick and easy food good for us?

"We have to evolve at the same rate as our food and we're not," says Malmberg. She explains that over the years production of the food we eat on a daily basis has changed and the majority of food that everyday people eat is less food and more "food products."

Malmberg says "food grown by a plant, not made by a plant" is what makes a healthy diet.

She describes a healthy diet as one including carbohydrates, fats, antioxidants, fermented and probiotic foods and "often over-looked water and water quality."

Some things she mentions are not listed on Canada's Food Guide, which states that a healthy diet consists of vegetables and fruits, grain products, milk and alternatives and meat and alternatives.

Kathleen Yuha, a licensed practical nurse, says you have to ensure you get good amounts of protein, starches, grains, fruits and vegetables and "minimal sugar."

"When it comes time to have sugar, choose sugars that are (naturally in) fruits and raw cane sugar that is not void of the vitamins and minerals that sugar actually contains," Yuha says.

Organic“Food grown by a plant, not made by a plant,” says Malmberg about what makes a healthy diet.

Photo by: Taylor Haahr
Sheena McFarlane, owner of the Gluten Free MarketPlace says that in her mind a healthy diet includes not only food but also exercise. She says that "convenience" is why people don't eat healthy.

"When you're eating healthier you have to take the time," says McFarlane, "You have to actually prepare it instead of just grabbing a box of macaroni and cheese and make it up, then you're done."

Malmberg says the benefits to eating healthier are numerous.

"You're happy, you have a big smile on your face," she says, listing benefits like "energy and real vitality," easier, deep, restful sleep, better stress-management, and for some, an "increased libido."

For people wanting to make a change in their diet, Malmberg suggests to "go slowly, just do one thing." Start by taking out the coffee, only having one cup, or the juice you drink "every day, all day."

"Get rid of the boxes — if it's got a package, you've got a problem," Malmberg says. "Once in a while, sure, have a bag of potato chips ... but overall, get rid of the packaged foods."

Yuha agrees. "A lot of people say, finish that bottle or finish the container, and then when you go and buy more, then buy this particular brand, or buy this kind... It does take a while to get everything kind of gone through in your cupboard."

"A personal effort I'm putting forward is to try and show people it's actually not them," says Malmberg, "You made that choice based on the information that was available to you."

A few examples of organic food (prices) purchased from

Superstore:

- Gala Apples $4.39/kg

- Baby Carrots $3.49 2lbs bag

- Strawberries $4.49 1lbs

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Correction: On the initial publication date Michelle Malmberg was referred to as a 'registered' holistic nutritionist. The story was adjusted February 28, 2013, removing the word 'registered.'