Eating for a Healthy Weight Extra Tips - Adapted for Punjabi Diet

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Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide is designed to help you choose the foods you need to be healthy. Foods are organized into food groups in the Guide based on the type of nutrients they provide. Within each food group, there are recommended numbers of servings to eat each day that will give you the vitamins, minerals and energy you need to be healthy.

For ideas on how to make healthier food choices within each food group, see the chart below called, "Tips for Making Healthier Choices."

Steps You Can Take

Follow Canada's Food Guide recommendations:

  • Aim to meet the number of servings each day for your gender and age group.
  • Include at least three of the four food groups at each meal.
  • Include two of the food groups at each snack.

Vegetables and Fruit

Men: 7 to 10 servings/day
Women: 7 to 8 servings/day

One serving is:

  • 1 medium vegetable or fruit (the size of a tennis ball)
  • 125 mL (½ cup) canned, frozen, cut-up, or cooked vegetable or fruit (subji)
  • 250 mL (1 cup) leafy salad
  • 125 mL (½ cup) unsweetened canned fruit
  • 125 mL (½ cup) 100% fruit or vegetable juice

Grain Products

Men: 7 to 8 servings/day
Women: 6 to 7 servings/day

One serving is:

  • 1 roti (15 cm / 6 inch), made with 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1 slice 100% whole grain bread
  • 175 mL (¾ cup) hot cereal, such as oat bran, dahlia
  • 125 mL (½ cup) cooked whole grain pasta
  • 125 (½ cup) corn (mukki) roti (about 6 inches in size)
  • 125 mL (½ cup) cooked brown or wild rice
  • 175 mL (¾ cup) cold high fire cereal
  • ½ pita, bun, or whole grain bagel
  • ¼ 5 x 20 cm (2 x 8 inches) naan

Milk and Alternatives

Men and women: 2 to 3 servings/day

One serving is:

  • 250 mL (1 cup) skim or 1% milk fat (M.F.)
  • 175 mL (¾ cup) low-fat yogurt (dahi)
  • 50 grams (1½ ounces) cheese, less than 20% M.F.
  • 250 mL (1 cup) buttermilk (lassi, 1% M.F.)
  • 250 mL (1 cup) soy beverage fortified with calcium and vitamin D

Meat and Alternatives

Men: 3 servings/day
Women: 2 servings/day

One serving is:

  • 175 mL (¾ cup) cooked beans, peas or lentils (dahl, cholay, raj mahn)
  • 30 mL (2 Tbsp) natural peanut or almond butter (no added salt or sugar), 75 grams (2½ ounces) poultry (no skin) or lean meat
  • 75 grams (2½ ounces) fish, fresh or canned in water
  • 2 eggs
  • 60mL (¼ cup) unsalted nuts or seeds

Oils and Fats

Enjoy up to 30 to 45 mL (2 to 3 Tbsp) of unsaturated fat per day. This includes oil used for cooking, salad dressing, margarine, and mayonnaise.

Examples of unsaturated fat include vegetable oils such as canola, olive and soybean, and soft non-hydrogenated margarine.

Tips for Making Healthier Choices

Food or Beverage choice Healthier Option
Tea made with homogenized milk (3.3% MF) Tea made with 1% or skim milk, or evaporated skim milk
Homogenized milk (3.3% MF) 1% or skim milk, fortified soy beverage
Juice, punch, flavoured coffee and tea drinks, energy drinks Water, tea with skim milk (no added sugar), herbal tea, coffee (no added sugar), fortified soy beverage, or low sodium broth
Jam, butter, hard margarine, or mayonnaise on bread Soft, non-hydrogenated margarine, low-fat mayonnaise, 100% natural peanut or almond butter on bread
Rotis made with white flour 100% whole wheat flour to make roti with option of adding chickpea flour (besan), soy flour, millet, ground flax seeds, or 100% bran
Prauntas (pan fried rotis) made with added fat such as butter, ghee, margarine, oil Missi roti (made without butter, ghee, margarine or oil)
Butter or hard margarine in the base (turka) for lentils (dahl), curried vegetables (subji), curried spinach/mustard greens (saag) Small amounts of canola or olive oil in preparing the base (turka)
Paneer (fried cheese) Tofu
Sour cream and buttermilk (khutta) Lower fat yogurt or fat free sour cream with 1% buttermilk to make khutta
Fried snacks (such as frozen fish patties, pakora, pakorian, samosa or mitiaaee such as basan, barfi, gulab jaman, jalabee etc.) Fresh fruit or vegetables for snacks
Deep fried foods (such as puris, samosas or pakoras) Grill or bake instead of deep frying

Additional Resources

Dietitian Services Fact Sheets available by mail (call 8-1-1) or online:

Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide

Last updated: November 2013

These resources are provided as sources of additional information believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of publication and should not be considered an endorsement of any information, service, product or company.

Distributed by:

Dietitian Services at HealthLinkBC (formerly Dial-A-Dietitian), providing free nutrition information and resources for BC residents and health professionals. Go to Healthy Eating or call 8-1-1 (anywhere in BC). Interpreters are available in over 130 languages.

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