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Remember that quality is important! Look at the overall content of your food, not just one healthy ingredient.

Andréanne Tremblay-Lebeau

Andréanne Tremblay-Lebeau

Nutrition Month:

Registered Dietitian

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One healthy ingredient doesn’t necessarily make a food a healthy choice. For example, cheesy popcorn starts off with a healthy ingredient: whole grain popcorn. But the final product has almost as much fat and more sodium than potato chips.42 When shopping, read food labels and consider a food’s overall nutrient content. Look for the nutrients it does have, not just nutrients it doesn’t have. For example, just because a food is free of fat, sugar or salt, that doesn’t automatically make it healthy. In fact, some foods that are low in fat and salt, such as candy and pop, can be high in sugar and calories and low in nutrients. Choose foods that have more of the nutrients you want, such as fibre, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Don’t judge a food by one ingredient alone!For example, choose for snack a yogurt that is low in fat but also high in protein, such as Greek-style yogurt.


Bonus item! Look for a Percentage of Daily Value (% DV) higher than 15% for a good amount of vitamins and minerals.


This article is based on an article published by Dietitians of Canada.
To learn more, visit the Dietitians of Canada websites

Resource center
  • 42 Health Canada.Canadian Nutrient File 2010. Accessed 2012 Oct 1. Product package Nutrition Facts tables: Lay’s Original Potato Chips, SmartFood White Cheddar Cheese Flavoured Popcorn.

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