It's been a decade since Canada's Food Guide was last updated and it's getting a much needed makeover. The latest draft of the new Canada's Food Guide is looking great! The foundation of the guide is to promote healthy eating and drinking and explains what that means for Canadians.
The recommendation in the new draft suggests the primary beverage for Canadian's be water. Milk, chocolate milk, milk alternatives and juice were all acceptable beverages in the old guide but will no longer be suggested at the best options. The changes in beverage choice is geared at helping Canadian's lower their intake of sugar, especially added sugars.
In the new guide, we will see a shift from the traditional "Milk and Alternatives" and "Meat and Alternatives" food groups, towards separate groupings of animal- and plant-based proteins. The draft puts more emphasis on consuming plant-based proteins and less on meat and dairy products. These changes may shift the thinking of what a balanced meal looks like. The new guide will encourage a greater intake of plant-based foods, less animal-based products like meats and dairy, and less processed foods.
Unlike the current guide, the latest draft shows that it will differentiate between processed and unprocessed foods. Intake of foods that have added salt, sugar, and fat, and beverages that have added sugar should be reduced and/or avoided. Canadian's are encouraged to consume more natural, whole foods, and home-cooked meals and snacks. Sharing meals with family and friends further supports the message of healthy eating.
The latest draft shows exciting and much needed changes to the current guide, and will help Canadian's make better food choices and improve the quality of nutrition they eat. I look forward to the next stages of the draft and watch the guide transform. The guiding principles and recommendations of encouraging whole foods while reducing intake of processed foods and beverages will help promote health and minimize risk of nutrition-related chronic disease.
If you have opinions on what the new guide should look like, I encourage you to take part! Visit Canada's Food Guide Consultation and participate in the discussion. The deadline for public consultation has been extended to August 14th, 2017.