The long-awaited update of Canada’s Food Guide was officially released on January 22, 2019. The previous guide was released in 2007, so this was much anticipated by health professionals and the public alike!
What’s the Same?
Some of the messages of “what to eat” remain the same: choose a variety of foods, eat more vegetables and fruit and whole grains, reduce processed foods that are high in salt, sugar and saturated fat, and choose meat alternatives often. Both the new and previous guides recommend using nutrition labels to help us make wise food choices. All of these recommendations (then and now) aim to help reduce chronic disease (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.) in Canada. Overall, we need to remember that the Canada Food Guide is just that….it’s a guide and is not meant to be “one size fits all.”
The new Canada Food Guide presents as a healthy plate, rather than the four colours of the rainbow (representing four food groups). The plate visual has a modern look and provides practical eating advice at a glance. The recommendations are based on current scientific evidence.
The new Food Guide is based on three food groups: vegetables and fruit, whole grains, and protein foods. The traditional two food groups, meat and alternatives and milk and alternatives were combined into the protein foods group. Protein foods include legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, fortified soy beverages, fish, shellfish, eggs, poultry, lean red meat including wild game, lower fat milk, lower fat yogurts, lower fat kefir, and cheeses lower in fat and sodium. The recommendation is to consume plant-based proteins more often.
Another change to the new guide is the omission of fruit juice. Health Canada recommends we make water our drink of choice to help reduce our sugar intake.
Some of the new messages in the guide pertain to “how” we eat. It includes recommendations to cook more often, eat with others, be mindful of eating habits and food marketing, and include indigenous and cultural foods. Overall, the message to “enjoy your food” is emphasized.
We can look forward to more information and guidance to follow in time.
Check out the new guide and more healthy eating information.
A Registered Dietitian is your trusted source of reliable nutrition information. In Prairie Mountain Health to make an appointment for individual nutrition counselling with a Registered Dietitian call, 1-877-509-7852.
In Manitoba, you can call Dial-A-Dietitian, 1-877-830-2892 for general information.
Submitted by Prairie Mountain Health, Health Promotion Dietitians