The Canadian government has released a long-awaited update to the Canadian Food Guide – the guide that helps Canadians to make healthy eating decisions every day. With some new guidelines and advice that are supported by the most recent research and studies, there is lots of helpful information to guide Canadians to healthy eating that fits their lifestyle. Here are some of the important parts of the new Food Guide:
What’s in the Guide?
Canadians might recognize the recommended food groups from the previous guide, last updated in 1992 and 2007. The guide provides suggestions for what portions of your daily food should fit into which nutrition categories, but it also includes lots of advice on how to have healthy eating patterns and lead a healthy lifestyle.
What are the Updated Food Groups?
The guide recommends that approximately half of what Canadians eat should be fruits and vegetables. Grains should make up a quarter, while protein should take up another quarter of each meal. The easiest way to make sure that portions are on track with the recommendations is to look at how much of a plate is each group – such as checking that half of the plate is full of fruits or vegetables.
The food guide encourages Canadians to opt for whole grains like whole wheat, whole oats, or brown rice and to eat adequate protein, including choosing some plant and non-meat protein options. This doesn’t have to be restricted to options like soy and tofu; non-meat protein options have a huge variety of choices, like lentils, beans, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, and some grains like quinoa.
It also suggests making water the drink of choice and avoiding processed foods and those with too much added salt, saturated fats, or sugar.
Canadians might notice that dairy products are no longer considered a food group. While dairy can be a beneficial source of protein and certainly a healthy choice for many Canadians, the new food guide doesn’t focus on them as a necessary part of a healthy diet anymore.
Healthy Eating Habits
The food guide is a great guideline for what foods to eat, but modern diet and nutrition research has shown that how people eat and their lifestyle is just as crucial to their health. Eating healthy and right is not only about what types of food are eaten, but also about proportions, portions, making more food at home, and being knowledgeable about what’s in food.
Look to the new Canadian Food Guide for a helpful resource that can help you to live a healthy lifestyle, starting with the food that they consume every day. It helps to educate people about the dangers of some unhealthy foods that should be eaten in moderation, while also educating people about things like food marketing and nutrition labels that can influence what food choices people make. Knowing what different nutrition criteria – such as calories, types of fats, sodium, sugars, and proteins – as well as useful items like serving sizes will help Canadians to make educated decisions about their food and health.
Healthy Diet is for Everyone
Anyone can still eat healthy no matter their tastes, culture, lifestyle, or budget! The Food Guide is a framework for what types of food choices are healthiest for each person, but the choices about how to meet those guidelines are up to every person and how they want to eat. There are healthy options for nearly any situation!