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Drs Carla Taylor and Peter Zahradka, investigators at the Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine were recently invited to speak to the Transmission Planning and Design Department of Manitoba Hydro. The event – themed “Healthy Eating” – was one of Hydro’s annual safety sessions that are required by Hydro employees.  Approximately 200 persons were in attendance.

Dr. Zahradka spoke about the impact that eating pulses (legumes) has on cardiovascular health. A major component of his talk was a description of the human study that he and Dr Taylor conducted. It was also brought to the audience’s attention that these clinical trials are a key component of proving that certain foods have specific health benefits, and validation of these findings is absolutely necessary if a health claim is to be obtained for these foods.

Dr. Taylor provided an overview of how to make healthy food choices. Her presentation contained material about the various types of fat in our diet, including omega-3 oils and their sources, as well as complex carbohydrates, simple sugars, and fibre. She used a sample nutrition label to help the audience decipher the information that is contained on food packages. Both speakers answered numerous questions from the audience.

Bruce Pederson, the Manager responsible for organizing the event, indicated there was considerable positive feedback about the talks, including some who mentioned they would be making changes in their life styles in order to improve their health. It should also be noted that these presentations led to several people calling and emailing to explore their suitability to enter one of the many clinical studies ongoing at CCARM.