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Canadian Survey Shows People Eating Healthier Than Five Years Ago


Published: 08/13/2014

by Tamar Dobner

TORONTO – Ninety-five per cent of Canadians who responded to a recent survey eat healthier, more natural foods today than they did five years ago.


The national survey of eating habits – performed by Montreal-based BAM Strategy on behalf of Catelli Foods Corporation – also reveals that of the15,593 respondents*, 54 per cent said they feel more vibrant and happier when eating healthy, natural foods.


“What we found most interesting about the survey results is the overwhelming percentage of people who are consciously making healthier food choices,” said Sandra Kim, Director of Marketing for CatelliFoods Corporation, which conducted the survey as part of the re-launch of its Catelli® Healthy Harvest® pasta brand, made from only one ingredient – 100 per cent whole grain wheat.


Other survey findings include:


  • 75 per cent of respondents said they prefer to buy Canadian or locally-produced foods.


  • 85 per cent of those who participated read nutrition labels before buying food products to make sure they are healthy.


  • 21 per cent of those queried said they associate healthy eating with feeling vibrant; 15 per cent said it makes them feel happier; and 19 per cent cited feeling both more vibrant and happier. Only six per cent of respondents associate healthy eating with feeling slimmer.


  • 94 per cent of participants prefer to buy natural, one or two-ingredient foods over processed foods.


  • 90 per cent of respondents said that, when given the choice, they would choose whole grain wheat products over refined grain wheat (white flour) products.


  • While 53 per cent of respondents said both the males and females in their home have similar eating habits, 43 per cent said the females in their home are more concerned about healthy eating than the males.


According to nutrition expert Rose Reisman, the results of the study are encouraging. “After years of awareness-building by food experts through the media, books and other educational platforms, people appear to be making the connection between the foods they eat and how they feel,” said Reisman, who has authored 18 cookbooks, including the recently-launched The Best of Rose Reisman.


Reisman pointed to recent studies that demonstrate the correlation between people’s food intake and their feeling of vitality.  A study conducted by New Zealand researchers and published in the November 2013 issue of British Journal of Health Psychology, for example, found a correlation between eating healthy foods, specifically fruits and vegetables, one day and being in a positive mood the next.


Still, certain foods have been shown to provide a greater energy lift than others, Reisman emphasized. She identified these five foods as her top vitality-boosters:


  • 100 per cent whole grains
  • Edamame beans
  • Berries (fresh or dried)
  • Orange, red and dark green vegetables
  • Greek yogurt


“Each of these foods is effective on its own, but combining them together in one dish may provide an even better energy boost,” said Reisman, who developed what she calls a “Vitality-Boosting Pasta Salad” that includes all five of these ingredients and can be accessed at


Hungry for more information on vitality-infused recipe ideas?  Visit


Original recipe by Rose Reisman follows.


About the survey


*This survey was conducted online on behalf of Catelli Foods Corporation by BAM Strategy between March 27 and April 11, 2014. The survey was sent via email to 305,803 recipients as part of Catelli Food Corporation’s regular eNewsletter distribution, with respondents voluntarily completing the survey through a microsite.


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Vitality-Boosting Pasta Salad


This pasta salad – developed by leading nutrition expert Rose Reisman – is a powerhouse when it comes to vitality-boosting ingredients, including whole grains, edamame beans, berries, orange veggies and Greek yogurt.


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes   

Servings: 6




1 pkg (375 g)                           whole wheat rotini, such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest®

1                                                large red bell pepper, chopped

2 cups (500 mL)                     peeled and chopped sweet potato

3/4 cup (175 mL)                    shelled edamame beans

1 cup (250 mL)                       dried cranberries

3 oz (90 g)                               crumbled light feta cheese, about 1/2 cup (125 mL)

1/3 cup (75 mL)                      chopped fresh basil or parsley



2/3 cup (150 mL)                    zero fat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup (125 mL)                    low fat milk

1/4 cup (60 mL)                      balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp (45 mL)                        light mayonnaise

2 tbsp (30 mL)                        olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp (22.5 mL)               honey

1 1/2 tsp (7 mL)                      crushed garlic


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Arrange the chopped pepper, in a single layer, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until softened and coloured around the edges. Cool completely.


  1. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add rotini and sweet potato. Cook for 8 minutes; add edamame beans during the last minute of cooking. Drain well and rinse with cold water until rotini is cold. Add to a large serving bowl. Stir in the cranberries, feta, basil and roasted peppers.


  1. Dressing: Whisk the yogurt with the milk, vinegar, mayonnaise, oil, honey and garlic until well combined. Pour over the pasta mixture and toss until well combined.


Per serving (1 1/2 cups/375 mL): 529 calories, 14 g fat, 1.8 g saturated fat, 7.2 mg cholesterol, 373.2 mg sodium, 90 g carbohydrates, 12.5 g fibre, 18 g sugars, 21.8 g protein.


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