Canada is known for a lot of things… Maple Syrup, Ice Hockey, The Northern Light. And now we can add Canada’s Food Guide to the list.
It’s Simple, It’s Practical, And It’s More Than Just A Food Guide
Last Tuesday, Canada’s new Food Guide was released to a mixed response.
Unlike the current Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, Canada’s new guide move away from meat, especially red meat, as well as dairy in favour of including more fruits, vegetables, and plant-based proteins.
As you can imagine, this hasn’t gone down well with meat and dairy farmers or food industry lobbyists, whilst environmentalists are praising the guide for taking into consideration the impact of food choices on sustainability, the environment, and food waste.
The main components of the guide are:
- Have plenty of vegetables and fruits
- Eat protein foods
- Choose wholegrain foods
- Make water your drink of choice
That’s right, 3 simple food groups and water! How great is that?
When we look at the plate we see 1/2 the plate filled with vegetables and fruit, 1/4 with protein and 1/4 with wholegrains as well as water as the recommended beverage. It’s so easy that you can create these portions a regular plate without any issues.
And that’s simplicity, that realistic reference in my opinion what makes this guide so truly fantastic.
Though Australia’s guide uses the same piggery of a plate, Canada’s guide really varies when we look inside the plate.
- Comprises of 5 food groups
- Less than 1/2 of the plate as fruit and vegetables
- Roughly 1/3 of the plate is grain foods
- The protein list starts with ‘lean meats and poultry’
- Dairy is included as it’s own food group
- Fats are listed on the side
- Discretionary foods are listed on the side
- An image of water is include but not labelled
Now I’m sorry, but if you try to portion out a real like plate like you can with Canada’s new guide, something tells me you’ll be struggling for some time. The Australian guide is definitely something that needs to be implemented throughout an entire day, unlike the Canadian guide which you can simply implement as a way of eating at every meal.
When we continue reading Canada’s Food Guide we then see it goes into more detail, encouraging:
- Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods
- Choosing protein foods that come from plants more often
- Limit highly processed foods
- Making water your drink of choice
The other great thing the Canada’s new Food Guide does is provide a list of suggestions on healthful eating habits.
These healthful eating habit suggestions include:
- Be Mindful of your eating habits
- Cook more often
- Enjoy your food
- Eat meals with others
- Use food labels
- Limit foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat
- Be aware of food marketing
And that in itself makes this national guide the best one I’ve come across. Healthy eating is more than just about the foods you eat. It’s also about where, when, why and how you eat, and that’s something Canada has recognised. It’s not just what we eat, but our eating habits that are effecting our health and wellbeing.
With so much conflicting information out there about what to eat, I think this guide will really serve the population well given it’s simplistic, common sense approach and added habit advice.
Of course there will be those who have strong differing food beliefs (Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Whole30 etc) who will kick up a stink about the guidelines, however, as a whole, and looking at where society is with their eating habits now, I think many of us can benefit from Canada’s new Food Guide and the guidelines it provides… whether we live in Canada or not.
As for me personally, well, to be honest, if I had to pick to recommend one of these two guides, I’d select Canada’s guide over the Australian guide. Why? Well, not only does it makes a lot more sense to me on a nutritional, practical and habitual level, but I truly believe it’s simple approach, the ability to implement it at every meal and the habit recommendations make it more applicable and useful to more everyday people.
This article was originally published to the Konquer Fitness Community on January 28th, along with a recipe for Protein Toast With Avo-Veg Smash And A 3-1 Omelette and an article discussing Joint Health, Mobility Drills and How To Warm-up When You’re Short On Time.
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What do you think about these new guild lines? Would you like to see something similar adopted in Australia or where you live? Leave me a comment below and let me know!