Food Lifestyle

Chances are, you’ve heard that a new Canada Food Guide will be released this year. Last fall, Canadians were invited to share their thoughts on a range of topics related to the guide. Their opinions, combined with scientific data, will be used by a team of experts from Health Canada in the development of a new Canada Food Guide that resembles Brazil’s.

fruits variés Source: William Felker

The guiding principals

  • Focus on the regular consumption of nutritious foods: vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and plant-based sources of protein.
  • Emphasize the value of plant-based foods to help Canadians: eat more fibre-rich foods, replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats, and increase their intake of vitamins and minerals.
  • Underscore the environmental benefits of reducing the consumption of dairy products and meat.
  • Place less emphasis on what/how much to eat in favour of healthy eating habits.
  • Recommend reducing the consumption of processed or prepared foods which typically contain too much salt, sugar, fats and/or additives.

Example: fruit juice, in the existing food guide, is in the “fruits and vegetables” category. In the new food guide, however, fruit juice would be in the “processed or prepared foods” category. This more accurate categorization could, for example, have a positive impact on the “accuracy” of restaurant menus and the inclusion of meals containing nutritious foods.

cuisinerSource: Jamie Goodwin

  • Emphasize the importance of home-cooked meals. I sincerely believe that this is a step in the right direction because home-cooked meals prepared from scratch contain fewer processed foods, thus reducing the consumption salt, saturated and trans fats, and sugar. Perhaps home economics classes will be re-integrated in school curriculums?
  • Recommend drinking more water. Reach for a glass of water first; limit all other drinks to special occasions only.
  • Encourage eating meals with family and friends because they favourize good nutrition. Preparing a meal with your friends, or for your family, can be far more satisfying than eating alone.

This article is my interpretation of the guiding principals of the new Canada Food Guide. Worth noting, contrary to the 2007 version, the new guide will not be skewed by lobbying. We can all look forward to learning a little more on healthy eating!

Marie-Eve Nadeau
Nutritionniste-diététiste Dt.P.
Membre de l’Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec (OPDQ)
Spécialisée en nutrition sportive – diplômée par le Comité Olympique International

Source of cover image: Megan Hodges

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Marie-Ève Nadeau

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