By Annelise Duval, RD
You may have noticed that Health Canada published a new Canada’s Food Guide in January 2019. There are quite a few changes in this new edition with the most obvious one being the change from a rainbow model to a plate model filled with the recommended portions of foods to eat at meals.
With the new plate model, the Food Guide makes recommendations on WHAT you should eat by recommending more plant-based foods which includes eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, eating protein-rich foods with a special focus on legumes, peas and lentils, nuts and seeds (they have included dairy products like low fat yogurt, milk, cheese in the protein section) and choosing whole grain foods such as quinoa, wild rice and whole grain pasta. It also recommends drinking plenty of water instead of soda/juice to limit the amount of sugar eaten. And it highlights the importance of choosing healthy fats such as healthy oils, avocadoes, fatty fish, nuts and seeds instead of saturated fats found in fatty meats, high fat dairy products, processed foods and tropical oils like coconut and palm oils. Lastly, it recommends limiting highly processed foods and using food labels when purchasing foods to make more informed food choices.
The new Food Guide also makes recommendations on HOW you should eat with the premise that Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. With this, there is a big emphasis on the social aspects of eating by trying to eat with others at meals as well as cooking more often and involving your family in cooking/planning the meals. And it also encourages being mindful of how you eat (why did you eat?, when did you eat?, what did you eat?, where did you eat it?) to help make healthier food choices and make positive changes to how you eat by being more conscious of the foods you eat and your eating habits.
Health Canada has also included several healthy eating recipes that align with the new recommendations.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the new Canada’s Food Guide or if you want more information on the new recommendations, you can find the new version here: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/