Why so many people in Canada are OVERWEIGHT and How to make sure Your Family is NOT

Many immigrants come to Canada in a relatively good state of health. Yet, within the first ten years, some of them develop health problems and become overweight.

Childhood Obesity Foundation reports that, in 2015, 59% of adult Canadians are either overweight or obese, and, if the current trend continues, by 2040, up to 70% of adults aged 40 years will be either overweight or obese. Government of Canada (Canada.ca) reports that obesity rates among children and youth have more than tripled in the last 30 years.

The change in the type of food immigrants eat is usually the main reason why immigrants become overweight. In Canada, people eat a highly acidic diet. What does it mean? Different types of food produce different reactions in your body: some foods will make your body more acidic (they are called ‘acid-forming foods), while other foods will make your body more alkaline (alkaline-forming foods). If your body is too acidic and you consume more calories than you need, you will start gaining weight. You may also develop other health problems, like type 2 diabetes, liver problems, osteoporosis, cancer, stroke, depression and heart disease).

To keep a healthy weight, one needs to maintain a balance between acid-forming and alkaline-forming foods. A good ratio 3:1 – eat three times more alkaline-forming foods than acid-forming foods. Many Canadians eat a diet comprised of almost a 100% of acid-forming foods and that’s why they cannot lose weight, even though they go on a diet, sign up for the gym and exercise regularly.

Which foods are Acid-forming?

meat – beef, chicken, bacon, pork, most fish, shrimp

dairy – milk, yoghurt, cheese, butter, ice cream

eggs

bread

pasta

pizza

rice

sugar and artificial sweeteners

coffee

black tea

alcohol

fruit juice

very sweet fruits

chocolate

jam

soda/pop

ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, white vinegar

any roasted nuts (especially peanuts, walnuts and cashews)

All favourite Canadian foods are unfortunately highly acidic. However, it’s OKAY to eat these foods – you just have to remember not to eat too much of them!

 

Which foods are Alkaline-forming?

All kinds of vegetables (especially cucumber, kale, parsley, spinach, tomato)

beans (Lima beans, Navy beans, fresh soy beans)

tofu

quinoa

lentils

sesame seeds

almonds

grapefruit, lemon, lime

avocado

coconut, coconut water, coconut oil

pomegranate

green tea

water

garlic, onion

ginger

herbs and species

olive oil, flax oil, hemp oil

You will notice that most acid-forming foods taste ‘sweet’, while most alkaline-forming foods do not taste sweet. This is the easy way to remember the difference when you go shopping. If you want to keep your family healthy, make sure they don’t adopt a typical Canadian ‘sweet’ diet!