Nutrition pathfinder


This is Health Canada’s food guide to healthy eating. The site includes the food rainbow and recommended serving sizes (you can access it in larger print format by clicking on the PDF links). There’s also a link at the bottom of the page titled ‘Food Guide Resources’ which will take you to a page where you can access more information on how to use the food guide.

This site contains information on nutrient contents and health benefits of various fruits and vegetables, sorting them into categories by color. Also includes media links to contacts for interviews from the site’s partners: the Canadian Cancer Society, The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and The Canadian Produce Marketing Association.

This is a link to a nutrition calculator created by The Food Network using data from the Canadian Nutrient File, published by Health Canada, to determine daily calorie and nutrition intake. It has a huge variety of foods, with different packaging and reparation techniques, listed alphabetically by food category. It maintains a running list of selected items at the top of the page that can be edited at any time.


This Dieticians of Canada site allows searches for registered dieticians in different locations across the country. These dieticians are different from nutritionists because they have to meet requirements to be registered including a bachelor’s degree specializing in food and nutrition as well as a practicum period. The term ‘nutritionist’ doesn’t require prerequisites.

This is the contact site for the Canadian Council of Food and Nutrition, an national non-profit organization responsible for communicating and advocating nutrition issues. Their current focuses include childhood obesity, trans fats and altering Canada’s Food Guide.

This is contact information for the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN). The committee is a part of several worldwide projects to improve nutrition. It focuses on the goal to end malnutrition worldwide, and produces reports and information about the global state of nutrition. The website also includes case studies on particular SCN projects.


This site is a searchable database for the Canadian Inventory of Nutrition and Dietetic Research. Entering a keyword into the search field produces the abstracts of papers on research that has been done or is currently being done on the topic. The results can be sorted by relevance or by date so the most current research entries are listed at the top. Some abstracts have further links. Each listing provides, at minimum, the name of the main researcher (and sometimes others) and the location of the study, which can be used as a starting point for making contact.

This is the contact information for Health Canada’s Nutrition Research Division. The department does research that impacts the Canadian Nutrient File, and the government’s policies surrounding health and nutrition. The site has a link at the top to find more information about the Nutrition Research Division. Following it leads to a new page that outlines details of their mandate more concisely.

This is a link to the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Nutrition Research Program. This is one of the newest (2002) and best Canadian research facilities for nutrition. Its multidisciplinary research focuses include fetal and child development, bio-active food components, and chronic disease. The site includes links to contact information for all of the faculty members individually, as well as a main contact number for the institution.

This site is for the University of Alberta’s Human Nutrition Research Unit (HNRU). This is a fairly new unit as well (2002), but is smaller than the one at UBC. Its research initiatives include topics in infant and child health, diabetes, and cancer. Researchers on particular sub-topics of the areas of focus (listed on the website) can be contacted through the HNRU Coordinator.


This is Health Canada’s portal site for health and nutrition resources for people of different ages, sex, locations and race. This site focuses on specific challenges for groups, and offers organized links to information of interest. Nutrition and healthy living with specific disease states is examined.

This is a search site for resources from the Dieticians of Canada. The database allows searching by age group, sex, ethnic group, and disability group. You can also search categorically by nutrition and lifestyle, and clinical nutrition for those with a condition or risk factor. The database contains many informative, reliable resources pertaining to every category.


This site, created by the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, lists dietary supplement fact sheets alphabetically. The list includes all vitamins and minerals, along with a few herbs and some produce. The fact sheets also discuss scientific findings for the use of some of the supplements to treat and prevent various ailments.


This paper, published in 2003, is a comprehensive guide for vegetarian and vegan diets. It includes pyramid and rainbow graphics and an outline of food groups. It also includes suggestions on how to include adequate amounts of vitamins and nutrients that vegetarians/vegans are in danger of not acquiring.

This site by the Canadian Celiac Association outlines healthy eating and nutrition for people who don’t eat gluten. It includes a gluten-free adaptation of the Canada Food Guide, and suggests gluten-free substitutions. It also lists foods that are in question, and foods to avoid.

This Glycemic Index website ranks different foods for their carbohydrates and how they affect blood glucose levels. It includes a database that can be searched by name of food to get the glycemic index, and explains the significance of high, middle and low glycemic content of foods.


The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Database on Body Mass Index (BMI) presents worldwide data on mass. It provides information from various countries and demographics through maps, graphs and tables. It also has a Detailed Data section that can be searched for specific data by country, region, age, sex and BMI classification.

This Health Canada site allows for quick input of height and weight (in metric or imperial) and outputs the corresponding BMI below the entry fields. It also has a graphic representation of how BMI is calculated, and a chart correlating BMI percents with level of risk for developing health problems.
This 2000 WHO Technical Report entitled ‘Obesity: Preventing and Managing the Global Epidemic’ gives details by region on obesity trends and lists specific health implications and consequences. It also evaluates the BMI and other measures of obesity and discusses health implications of weight loss. The report also lists estimated economic loss from obesity and related illnesses. The detailed table of contents makes the report easy to navigate and find specific information.


This 2003 WHO Technical Report entitled ‘Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases’ outline the availability and consumption of various main food groups. It also breaks down specific nutrition-related diseases (such as diabetes, cancer, dental diseases and osteoporosis), statistical evidence, and recommendations for prevention and management on a global scale. The detailed table of contents makes the report easy to navigate and find specific information.

This website lists specific information about food and nutrition in various diseases, which are listed in alphabetical order. The links are to publications from universities and organizations outlining the nature of the diseases and the role that nutrition has to play in their management and prevention. Although it’s a commercial site, it’s well organized and the information is all credited.

This publication by The Macronutrient Initiative and UNICEF is entitled “Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency: a Global Damage Assessment Report”. Page seven and eight are a chart of iron, iodine, vitamin A, and folate deficiency by country. Also listed, by country, are the economic impacts, and the amount of flour fortification, salt iodization, and vitamin a supplement consumption. The report also gives an idea of global goals to combat malnutrition and timelines.


This Health Canada site outlines the government’s position on food fortification. It provides links to Fact sheets on what food fortification is, and what is currently allowed in Canada, and also to information about Health Canada updating its policy. This site should be checked when researching the topic in Canada, as the government is in the process of establishing new food fortification regulations.

This Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WHO food standard organization site is a database for general standards for food additives. The searchable database contains an exhaustive list of food additives. For each additive, clicking on it results in a CODEX list of any synonyms, functional uses, and maximum recommended concentrations in foods. The database is also searchable by food category or additive function.


This Canada Food Inspection Agency Website has a Reasonable Daily Intake chart for a variety of common foods. Serving sizes are listed in both metric and imperial. Below, there’s another chart for Recommended Daily Intake of vitamins and minerals. Slightly further up on the page is a chart outlining reference amounts and serving sizes of common foods. These measurements serve as aids to help decode Canadian nutrition content labels.

This Nutrition Facts Table, published by Health Canada, outlines the government’s position on mandatory labeling, and lists exceptions to the regulations. It also includes a graphic deciphering the standard labeling format.


This site includes a chart of genetically modified foods that have been approved for production and/or sale in Canada. Most include links: clicking on the name of the approved food brings up details, including nutritional considerations.

This site is an AgBios comprehensive database of all genetically modified crops worldwide. It includes nutritional information, and safety information. Crops can be searched using many fields, including crop plant, trait and country.


This Health Canada site outlines the government’s position on the regulation of natural health products. It also includes a link to natural health products that have been approved under Health Canada’s new regulations. Also, there are links to information about licensing for products in Canada and distributor and retailer site authorizations.
This site has an exhaustive database of herbs, their composition, and their claimed health benefits. It lists studies, evidence of activity of the herb, and background information on the plant. Some references are free, but since the site is only updated twice a year, some are pay-per-view. The pay herbs are denoted by a star, and there’s a pay-per-day option that allows 24 hour access for a small fee.