Country Food and Store-Bought Food

Nunavummiut have two sources of nutritious food: grocery stores and the land. Country foods are very healthy—land and sea animals, fish, birds, berries, edible greens, and seaweed. All country foods are healthy. A traditional diet of country foods can provide a balanced, complete, and healthy diet. When people eat all parts of different animals, the body gets everything it needs.

Today, few Nunavummiut have access to the variety and amount of country foods that they need for a complete and healthy diet. Many Nunavummiut depend on store-bought foods for at least some of their diet. Many store-bought foods are unhealthy; people can make healthy choices at the store to have a complete and healthy diet.

Packaged/processed foods

Grocery stores sell many packaged foods. In general, they help make cooking faster and easier.

Some packaged foods are healthy choices. Some examples of healthy packaged foods are:

  • Foods in cans, such as tuna, salmon, sardines, vegetables, fruit, beans, tomatoes, and soups
  • Frozen foods such as vegetables, fruit, unseasoned/unprocessed fish, poultry, or meat
  • Foods in boxes or bags such as whole grain breads, cereals, pastas, milk, cheese, yogurt, vegetables and fruit, unsalted nuts and seeds, and dried fruit
  • Foods in bottles such as healthy oils, and peanut butter

When buying packaged foods, look for the healthier versions, including:

  • Low-salt/low-sugar versions
  • Fish packed in water, not oil

For a healthy diet, people should avoid or limit some packaged foods. They can be expensive and have unhealthy amounts of fat, sugar, and salt. Eating these unhealthy foods increases the risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Some examples of less healthy packaged foods are:

  • Ready-to-eat frozen entrees, such as frozen pizza or microwave dinners
  • Hot dogs, frozen chicken nuggets, and hamburger patties
  • Pre-made sandwiches and subs
  • Ice cream, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pastries
  • Pop, energy drinks, iced tea, slush, juice cocktails or crystals
  • Chips, granola bars, and other sweet or salty snacks
  • Syrup, spreads, some jams
  • Sweetened cereals
  • Some canned soups or dry soup mixes

All packaged foods have [food labels]—a nutrition label and ingredient list. Learn to use these to help make healthy choices.