February 22, 2019

Canada’s food guide has set the tone for how we as Canadian’s have thought about food for many decades.  As the needs of the population have changed so has Canada’s Food Guide.  This update was a much needed one as the previous food guide was released in 2007.   

Below are some of the major changes seen to the new Food Guide and what my thoughts are around them:

  • Goodbye to the 4 foods groups & Hello to 3 food grouping.

    • ½ your plate Vegetables & Fruit.
      • Positives:
        • Veggies/fruits are the main attraction
        • Recommending ½ plate of veggies & Fruits,
        • visually shows a variety of options & serving size.
      • Downside:
        • Potatoes are still in the vegetable and fruit grouping.
        • Cultural considerations?
        • Veggies & fruits are expensive and may not be inclusive & realistic for all Canadians.
        • May be overwhelming for individuals to think about getting this many veggies & fruits in. I always remind my clients that ½ your plate of veggies and fruis is a goal to strive.  What’s more important is to evaluate where your currently at and looking for progress over perfection.   
    • Goodbye Milk/Alternatives & Meat/Alternativesà Hello Protein
    • Whole Grains
  • Goodbye to the confusing portion sizes & Hello broad recommendations

    • Positives:
      • General recommendation of ½, ¼ plate used to remove confusion around quantities of specific food groups and changing serving sizes as previously seen ie)1 serving of veggies was either 1/2 cup of carrot or 1 cup of spinach vs ½ plate veggies .
    • Downsides:
      • May be to general for certain populations in need of specific nutrients.

  • Emphasis on HOW we eat.

    • I love that the food guide has put an emphasis on the importance around how individuals/families are fueling along with what to fuel with. https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/healthy-eating-habits/
      • Be mindful of your eating habits (Take time to eat, Notice when you are hungry and when you are full)
      • Cook more often (Plan what you eat, Involve others in planning and preparing meals)
      • Enjoy your food (Culture and food traditions can be a part of healthy eating)
      • Eat meals with others

If you have any questions about the changes of the new food guide don’t hesitate to reach out!

Leslie Steeves, RD

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