In January 2019, Health Canada released its new and long-overdue food guide. The food guide was in the works for the past couple of years, and I took the opportunity to provide feedback and input, which Health Canada asked for during that time, as a health and nutrition professional. The proposed changes sounded very promising, but given that they would negatively impact two of the biggest food industries—meat and dairy, it was uncertain what the final result would be.
It is now here, and you can view the new guide and read through the accompanying health and nutrition guidance here on Health Canada’s official page: Canada’s Food Guide. At first glance, I have to admit my initial feelings teetered on disappointment, given how much the new food guide image resembles the poor guidance of the USDA MyPlate. However, upon closer inspection and analysis, I recognized the stark differences and positive changes that are portrayed by both the food guide image and supporting tips and guidance offered. In general, the new Canada food guide is a huge step up from previous guides and their food and eating recommendations, and the best one so far. In fact, it raises Canada’s stance as a leader in recommendations for truly healthy and responsible eating, next to many European countries. By no means is it perfect, as it still has several areas that could and should be improved upon, but taking the ideal aside, I am extremely pleased with the final outcome. My hope is that it can only get better. As part of this article, I will share with you 8 of the most important changes and positive improvements of the guide from my perspective as a holistic nutritionist and teacher who specializes in optimal health through whole food, plant-based nutrition, and healthy living.
The New Canada Food Guide
Here is a visual summary of the guide for you if you have not yet seen it:
As part of the new food guide, Health Canada also provides numerous tips and resources to help make healthy eating easy and practical. Whether it is eating on a budget or feeding children, there is a lot of guidance and other resources that are offered for everyday people and health professionals alike.
The Most Positive Changes in the New Canada Food Guide
1. An Emphasis on Eating Plant-Based
One of the biggest and most obvious improvements to the guide is the clear emphasis on basing one’s diet on wholesome plant foods. In this new guide, we can clearly see that most of our diet should be…