This week, the newly updated Canada Food Guide was released. The previous guide had been unchanged for 12 years.
The new food guide takes a very different approach than the previous versions did.
Foods are no longer categorized into groups such as ‘dairy’ or ‘meat’ and terms such as ‘beef’ have been replaced by the term ‘protein’.
Suggested serving sizes have also been eliminated and instead the guide advises “notice when you are hungry and when you are full.”
The new guide also recommends more plant based food consumption including an effort to avoid saturated fat, sugars and sodium where possible.
Although some disagree with the approach, overall I believe this promotes healthier eating habits.
What is new is that guide also makes recommendations on how you should eat and provides some other interesting suggestions.
“Grow, harvest, fish, hunt and prepare food in traditional ways.” is one such recommendation that may be more challenging for those living in urban centres.
There is also the recommendation to drink more water.
The food guide even provides helpful information that you can drink water “hot or cold” and that you can “drink water with your meals”, in the event you were unaware of that tidbit.
If you are shopping, the guide recommends you “shop for sales” and “check out flyers and coupons” because this can make food shopping more affordable, also in the event you were unaware of that fact.
Other recommendations are to cook more meals at home and to be aware of “food marketing”.
The guide suggests that being aware of food marketing can help you “question why you want to purchase a certain food or drink”.
Overall, while I believe the new food guide is well intended and promotes a healthier diet, I do question if Canadians need to be advised on how to eat, shop and interpret food marketing.
My question this week: Do you prefer a food guide the focuses on nutrition, portion sizes and diet or do you prefer the new direction with advice on how to eat, shop and more?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
— Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. This riding includes the communities of Kelowna (specific boundaries), West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton, Merritt and Logan Lake.
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