Hello to the NEW Canada's Food Guide!
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
In case you missed the release of the NEW Canada’s Food Guide (As a Dietitian I did not!) here are some key take home points about the changes and some of my thoughts:
- A rainbow with food groups, number of servings and portion sizes has been replaced with a more simplified balanced plate model with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, protein foods, whole grains, and water.
- Health Canada officials did not meet with industry representatives to discuss the Food Guide this time to reduce chances of conflict of interest in nutrition recommendations.
- Due to the latest evidence, meat and dairy food groups were de-emphasized but these foods are still included under “protein foods” and can be great choices depending on individual needs.
The Food Guide now discusses not only WHAT we eat but HOW we eat. The recommendations are encouraging families to enjoy food, eat together, cook more often, practice mindful eating, and tune into hunger and fullness cues.
Remember the food guide is just that a “guide” and should not be used as a list of food rules. The best eating style is the one that YOU can sustain and be happy with long-term. It should be individualized with consideration of health conditions, culture, and food preferences.
In my practice, I use a non-diet approach and a big part of that is helping people embrace their body's cues, ALL foods and body size diversity. Sometimes the messaging in a public health document like the food guide can be challenging for someone who has a history of dieting and disordered eating because it can re-fuel rigid thinking, food rules, restriction, and weight stigma BUT all in all the new food guide is a refreshing change from the previous specific portions and number of servings that likely left most people either confused or hyperfoccused on their food intake.
If you are struggling with your own relationship with food and your body, remember Registered Dietitians are the only university trained and regulated nutrition professionals and we are happy to help!
Any questions or comments? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Christine McPhail MSc RD