So the Canada Food Guide has a had makeover, some say a long overdue one. And this time it is an actual guide rather than a prescription like its predecessor.
Previously the food guide was divided into four food groups (dairy/dairy products; meats and alternatives (i.e. tofu); fruits and vegetables; grains) with recommended daily servings and serving sizes listed. Being exposed, perhaps indoctrinated, to this growing up, I loosely based my meal/snack choices around specific foods the guide told me I should eat. The new food guide takes a more holistic approach to healthy eating.
“…healthy eating is more than the foods you eat…”
Retrieved from https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/food-guide-snapshot February 2, 2019.
In addition to the recommendation to eat a variety of healthy foods, the guide also suggests to cook more often, eat with others, enjoy your food, limit high fat/sodium/sugar foods, use food labels, eat mindfully and beware of food marketing. There is also an image of a plate where half of it is full of fruits/vegetables and the remaining two quarters is divided equally between protein and whole grains. Water is recommended as the beverage of choice.
Healthy eating is more than just consuming sufficient amounts of nutrient dense food and the new food guide has finally caught up to this. It pretty much reflects what I learned in the holistic nutrition program I took. Not only does what you eat matter, but how you cook it and the mindset you have when you eat it too. Water and vegetables come highly recommended and there is recognition that effective marketing techniques should not determine the value of food.
Interesting to note that dairy products figured heavily in the previous food guide but now that the updated version has been released, the Dairy Farmers of Canada (a lobby/policy/promotional organization) is “concerned.”
Whether it’s coming from a revision to a national food guide, certain research or dedicated vegetarians/vegans, it seems clear that a plant-based whole food diet is the healthy way to eat for everyone.