SportMedBC RunWalk Nutrition Tips – Back to Basics

Back to Basics

By Cristina Sutter, SportMedBC RunWalk Dietitian

Today I pay tribute to food writer Michael Pollan, who has written simple common sense food rules like: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" and “Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." 
In today’s age of superfoods and food police, we seem to have forgotten some of the basics in our attempts to cut clean up our diet. Here are some simple nutrition guidelines that may help us make healthier choices.  

  • Choose whole grains more often
  • Include a variety of colourful vegetables at every meal
  • Serve small portions of bread, rice, noodles and potatoes
  • Limit foods that are fried or made with oil or butter
  • Enjoy a variety of fruits every day
  • Choose fish, beans and lean meats

In moderation, even bread can be a very wholesome part of a balanced diet, but it is easy to overdo refined and processed foods made from white flour. Here are some guidelines to choose healthier types of grains and foods:

Choose Rarely Choose Sometimes Choose Often
  • fried rice
  • white rice
  • brown rice
  • wild rice
  • quinoa
  • parboiled white rice
  • French fries
  • hashbrowns
  • potato salad
  • baked potato
  • sweet potato
  • squash
  • baked home fries
  • fried noodles
  • white pasta
  • whole wheat pasta
  • black bean pasta
  • zucchini pasta
  • brown rice pasta
  • croissants
  • muffins
  • cookies
  • pastries
  • pies
  • perogies
  • dumplings
  • sandwich bread made from enriched flour, white buns
  • 100% whole wheat bread
  • whole wheat including the germ bread or sprouted grain bread
  • sugary cereals
  • instant oatmeal, granola, oat cereals
  • steel cut oats
  • old fashioned rolled oats
  • shredded wheat cereal
  • bran cereals
  • chips
  • rice crackers
  • pretzels
  • white crackers
  • popcorn
  • whole wheat crackers
  • most sugary granola bars
  • bars made from 100% fruit, nuts or whole grains
  • chocolate spread
  • smooth peanut butter
  • natural peanut butter
  • almond butter
  • pumpkin seed butter
  • chicken fingers
  • chicken wings
  • ribs
  • deep fried chicken
  • red meat
  • baked or grilled lean meat
  • fish
  • chicken
  • beans
  • tofu
  • deep dish, stuffed crust meat lovers pizza
  • pepperoni pizza
  • thin crust vegetarian, ham or chicken pizza, light on the cheese

Cristina Sutter is a Private Practice Sport Dietitian at Optimal Performance Clinic in Vancouver. For more information, visit

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