David Poon, BSc. Immunology and Infection, PharmD Student
A Modern Day Food Guide
I remember when I was first introduced to Canada’s Food Guide back in elementary school. Now, I’ve almost graduated university (twice), and the guide looks almost the same as it did back in elementary. However, on January 22, 2019, that all changed. A brand new, refreshed Food Guide was released to the public with some new ideas that we’ll touch upon today.
The Foods of Today
Gone are the days of meats and alternatives and milk and alternatives. It’s all about eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and plant-based proteins. The new Canada’s Food Guide wants you to cut out saturated fats, salt and sugar due to the health risks associated with their consumption. Too many saturated fats can cause atherosclerosis, plaque build-up in your blood vessels. Too much salt can cause high blood pressure. Too much sugar can lead to diabetes later in life. Water has also become the #1 recommended beverage of choice.
What Else Has Changed?
Did anyone else find the serving sizes in the old Canada’s Food Guide confusing? Be honest; have you ever used a measuring cup to determine if you have 1 or 2 servings of vegetables? Most likely no. The overhauled Canada’s Food Guide has taken away serving size recommendations. Instead, it’s now recommended that you incorporate all 3 food groups (fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein) into your diet. Half of your plate should be fruits or vegetables, a quarter of your plate should be grains and the last quarter should be filled with protein. Yes, you read that correctly. Milk and alternatives can now be found under the protein section. The Canada’s Food Guide also tries to make you a more health-conscious consumer at the supermarket, and at restaurants, by emphasizing the importance of reading food labels.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of new tips offered by the updated version Canada’s Food Guide, such as food recommendations and recipes to cook at home. We’ve only highlighted some of the more notable changes. Visit the brand new Canada’s Food Guide to see how you can improve your health this year!