Maintain a healthy diet

Diet plays an important role in protecting against cancer. The foods we eat can influence the risk of developing cancer. Approximately 30% of all cancers are linked with what we eat and drink. Fruits and vegetables are very low in fat and calories and are essential in order to maintain a healthy weight and balanced diet. In the NWT, only 36.6% of people older than 15 years eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  

It is okay to eat unhealthy foods once in a while, but healthy foods should make up most of your diet. A list of healthy and unhealthy foods can be found below. 

Healthy foods: 

  • Traditional foods such as beaver, caribou, fish or berries 

  • Foods grown in a garden without pesticides or other chemicals 

  • Vegetables  

  • Fruit  

  • Whole grains such as whole wheat, whole oats, whole grain corn or brown rice 

  • Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, peas or peanuts  

  • Foods high in folic acid such as dark leafy greens, broccoli, citrus fruits or avocados 

  • Lean meat, such as meat from the land or unprocessed (free-range) meat from the store 

  • Healthy oils such as olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil, walnut oil, or peanut oil rather than butter or animal fats 

  • Eight glasses of water a day 

  • Coffee or tea (green tea is a healthy option) are good to drink in moderation and without added sugars or preservatives 

Unhealthy foods: 

  • Processed food such as sausages, bacon, or canned soup 

  • Candy 

  • Unhealthy fats such as butter, and fried food such as potato chips or French fries 

  • More than 5 ounces (the size of a hockey puck) of red meat per day 

  • Pop or fruit juices bought in a store 

  • More than 3/4 teaspoon (1500 milligrams) of sodium (salt) per day, including the sodium found in processed foods 

For more foods facts, click on the links below. 

For the NWT Food Guide, click here

For Traditional Food Facts, click here

For information about different vegetables, click here

For frequently asked questions about food, click here.

For the Healthy Eating and Healthy Weight Guide, click here

For information on healthy eating, click here.

For information on farming and growing your own food in the NWT, click here

For facts on different foods that fight cancer, click here.  

For further information about leading a healthy lifestyle in the NWT, please visit