The Canadian Food Guide has come a long way since its initial release in 1942. Over the years Canadians have seen many changes to the document that combines the findings of nutrition and health sciences to help you make healthy food choices.
In the latest version of the food guide, to be released this year by Health Canada, one of the main four food groups will be significantly minimized. In the previous food guide, it was recommended the average Canadian consume 3-4 full servings of dairy products daily. That recommendation will potentially be cut back to just 1 serving.
As a healthier alternative, the draft suggests proteins like legumes (i.e chickpeas and lentils) and unsalted nuts. The updated version also encourages water over milk.
One more visually obvious change to this new edition of the Food Guide is the absence of the rainbow colour format separating the food groups to which most people have grown accustomed. Instead, 28 different foods will be identified that should or could be eaten every day to contribute to a well-balanced diet. There is no mention of how much of each should be consumed.
Although some argue the Canadian Food Guide doesn’t strongly affect most people’s food choices, the change to decrease the focus on dairy products has sparked conflicting reactions.
Agriculture Canada along with large meat and dairy companies worry about the negative implications the new guide could have on their industry. However, those who choose to eat more plant-based argue that in trying to protect the bottom line of such industries, these groups suggest short-term economic interests take precedence over the health of Canadians.
The final version of the guide is still yet to be released. However, the drafts presented indicate changes on the horizon for Canadian nutrition that may or may not promote further increase in plant-based diets.