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</P> While Canadians ate healthier in 2002, Statistics Canada says that we are eating mor.

How much do Canadians eat?

While Canadians ate healthier in 2002, Statistics Canada says that we are eating more. So how much food are we eating?

In 2002, each Canadian averaged 93 kilograms of fruit (a 15-percent increase since 1992), 110 kilograms of vegetables (a four-percent increase in ten years), and seven kilograms of fish (a 10-percent increase over 1992 levels). In contrast, the amount of calories from carbohydrates and proteins, and total consumption of vitamins and minerals remained constant and calories from fat decreased.

Eat small, frequent meals

Eating small meals several times a day can decrease your chances of becoming obese compared to those who eat fewer meals. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology (July 2003) found several interesting results. Participants were 450-percent more likely to be obese if they regularly skipped breakfast, but 45-percent less likely to be obese if they ate four or more meals daily. The study also showed that people who ate in restaurants were heavier, likely because restaurants serve larger meals with more fat.

First recorded diet

How long have people been dieting? In 1087, King William the I of England, better known as William the Conqueror and William the Bastard (1027-1087), changed his diet to lose weight. He grew fat late in life and claimed he was too fat to ride his horse. As part of his personal diet he stayed in bed and stopped eating all food and drink-except for alcohol. In 1087, he visited Rouen in northern France to attend an ancient weight loss clinic where he also tried a diet of herbs and medications to loose weight. It is not known which diet worked better, or how much weight he lost, but he did ride his horse later that year, only to have it fall during battle against King Philip I of France. He was fatally injured, died in Rouen, and was buried at Caen in Saint Stephen's Cathedral.

When to eat the peel

If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but always peel them first, you may be missing out on a source of fibre and other nutrients. Not only are most fruit and vegetable peels good for you, their bright colours add pizzazz to your meal.

The next time a recipe tells you to peel your fruits and vegetables, take Diana Mirkin's (drmirkin.com) "rule of thumb" test. If you can easily pierce the peel with your thumbnail then you can eat it. This test rules out winter squash, banana, and orange peels, but includes tomato, eggplant, and carrot peels. Make sure the peel is thoroughly washed before you eat it, though.

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