Canada’s new food guide – launched on January 22, 2019 – has some big changes. Over the years, the food guide has seen minor updates and changes, but this is, by far, the biggest change we have seen since 2007, with the new guide better reflecting today’s society.
Our newly updated food guide is more comprehensive and easier to understand. It does away with the “traditional” four food groups and advice on the number of servings per day; ultimately making the guide more user friendly, as determining what a serving size actually is was oftentimes confusing for consumers.
The new guide comes with a single simple image: a plate of food. The plate is roughly half filled with fruits and vegetables, while the remaining half is divided into whole grains and proteins. This simplified visual allows consumers to better understand where they should place the emphasis when making (and eating) their meals.
“Make it a habit to eat a variety of healthy foods each day”
Fast Facts about Canada’s New Food Guide
Make water your beverage of choice: I LOVE this! As a nutritionist and trainer, one of the biggest challenges my clients often have is getting properly hydrated. Drinking more water is something anyone can (and, oftentimes, should) do and can be an absolute gamechanger for their health. Additionally, more water means that most people will drink less juice and pop, therefore, decreasing their sugar consumption.
Avoid processed foods and beverages that are high in sodium, sugar, and saturated fats: Today, there is an overconsumption of processed meats, sugary cereal, and deep-fried foods leading to inflammation and disease, so this is an important message to get across.
Use food labels: By teaching consumers to use (and read) food labels, we’re encouraging them to be more critical of what they put into their bodies. (Hint: Foods without any labels at all are nature’s food and should be consumed more often!)
Be mindful of your eating habits: For the first time, the food guide emphasizes that it’s not just about the foods we eat but our eating habits as well. The guide encourages consumers to eat meals with others and to cook more often – stating that when you make your own meals, you control the ingredients and the portion size.
Warns against alcohol consumption: Alcohol is high in calories with no nutritive value and consumption can lead to an increase in the risk of cancers, liver damage, and hypertension.
Overall, for those looking to lead healthier lives, the new food guide offers excellent, easy to understand guidelines and tips that can be incorporated into our daily lives. A step in the right direction!
Dena Ryde, Personal Trainer & Holistic Nutritionist, Adelaide Club