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Smiles

Make great choices!

Find the smiles to discover our registered dietitians choices

To find our registered dietitian’s choices, we’ve added smiles to our price tags across all categories. This way, you can easily find the good options within each product category.

What do good choice stand for ?

Each type of food has its own nutritional value that finds a place in a well-balanced diet. This is why we established specific criteria for each product category: cereal, yogurts, fruit juices, etc.

 

Fat

Fat is essential and helps our bodies in a number of ways. It provides essential fatty acids (such as omega-3 fats), which are necessary for brain development, vision, immune system functioning and controlling inflammation. Fat also helps transport vitamins A, D, E and K in the body. Since fat provides twice as many calories as carbohydrates and proteins – it’s important to choose fats wisely and stick with mono- or polyunsatured fats and oils rather than saturated fats. Too much fat can be harmful to our health, so we need to keep an eye on the quantity and quality of the fat we consume.

 

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are found primarily in animal products such as meat, poultry, dairy products and butter. When consumed in excess, saturated fats may be harmful to cardiovascular health as they increase “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. It is therefore important to limit their intake.

 

Sodium/Salt

Sodium is found in table salt, but almost 80% of the sodium in our diet comes from processed foods. For some people, an excess sodium intake can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), which is a risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease. Canadians over age 14 should limit their daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg and younger children should not consume more than 1,500- 2,200 mg. The average Canadian takes in an average of 3,400 mg of sodium every day – that’s 1,100 mg more than the tolerable upper intake level (UL) of 2,300 mg and almost double the UL for children.

 

Sugar

Sugar occurs naturally in many foods, such as fruits, vegetables and milk. Sugar is also a common food additive, but added sugar has no nutritional benefit for our bodies. It only provides energy (calories). It is best to limit the consumption of foods containing added sugar, like sucrose (white sugar), brown sugar, honey, maple syrup or corn syrup. Opt instead for foods with naturally occurring sugar like fruits and vegetables. They are filled with nutrients beneficial to our health.

Hydrogenated Oil

The chemical process called “partial hydrogenation” produces artificial trans fats, which are detrimental to cardiovascular health. That is why all products containing hydrogenated oil have been excluded by our dietitians. Always read the list of ingredients to avoid products that contain hydrogenated oil.

 

Shortening

Shortening is fat that is solid at room temperature. It is traditionally produced by transforming liquid oils into solid fats through a chemical process called hydrogenation. Shortening contains variable quantities of artificial trans fats, which are detrimental to cardiovascular health.

 

Sugar Substitutes

Sugar substitutes can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. Use them sparingly, however, to avoid encouraging your sweet tooth. Sugar substitutes can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation, but they should not play a major role, primarily because:

  • Sugar substitutes contribute nothing in the way of nutrients and should not take the place of more nutritious foods in our diet;
  • Children need energy for growth, and sugar substitutes have a very low / non-existent energy value;
  • Children and adults should not get into the habit of consuming extremely sweet foods on a regular basis;
  • There are concerns about the negative effects of over-consumption of sugar substitutes.

Some of our concerns about sugar substitutes are based on studies that indicate:

  • Possible effects on hunger, satiety, appetite and food intake (through potential mechanisms such as loss of signal fidelity and a preference for sweet items with repeated exposure);
  • People who consume artificially sweetened beverages on a regular basis are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular events, compared with those who do not consume these beverages.
 

Artificial Trans Fats

Artificial trans fats are produced by a chemical process to solidify liquid oils. This process is called “partial hydrogenation.” Artificial trans fats are detrimental to cardiovascular health because they increase “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood while decreasing the levels of “good” cholesterol. They can be found in many products such as hard margarines, bakery products containing shortening or partially hydrogenated margarine, and fried foods.

The evaluated categories

​Given the nature and nutritional profile of the following products, no criterion "good choice" was established: soft drinks, energy drinks, iced tea, syrups (molasses, honey, syrup, table syrup pure Maple, etc.) refrigerated toppings, refrigerated dough for baking (turnovers ready to cook, dough for pie or pastry).



See the evaluated categories

 


Why don’t the smiles appear on all the tags ?

Some products don’t meet the criteria of our registered dietitians or haven’t been evaluated yet. Stay tuned! New smiles will soon appear on our shelves.



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