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The completely revamped Canada Food guide is good news for Canadians.

That from Southern Health-Santé Sud Dietitian Jody Chanel. Chanel says the process in forming the new guide is one of the things she really likes and the fact Health Canada started completely from scratch in developing it.

She says Health Canada reviewed high-quality research on food, nutrients, and health. They also garnered information from reputable scientific organizations like the World Health Organization and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, they held focus groups, and also questioned health professionals. All the references that were used for the research in developing the guide can be found on the Health Canada website.

cooking with em nov2018The new guide heavily discourages processed foods in order to keep our sugar, salt, and harmful fats low."This time though they didn't have any influence from the food industry to ensure there were no conflicts of interest, and that was different from the last food guide," says Chanel. For decades, she notes most of the information Canadians received regarding food came from the food industry and very little from actual research.

Chanel notes chronic diseases impacted by poor diet, like stroke, ischemic heart disease, breast cancer, and diabetes, are among the leading causes of premature death in Canada, and the new guide is a reflection of very well researched ways to improve diet.

The food guide's main diagram is a plate divided into the recommended proportions, that being half the plate fruits and vegetables, a quarter whole grains, and a quarter protein foods. "A large amount of research shows that plant-based foods should comprise the bulk of our diet, and the food guide reflects this."

The guide also heavily discourages processed foods in order to keep our sugar, salt, and harmful fats low. "It explains the importance of unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats, ways to replace processed meats, like luncheon meats, with better protein sources." Chanel adds she also likes that water is emphasized as the drink of choice to avoid sugary beverages.

Chanel points out that the guide also has messages of being mindful and the importance of cooking at home, and emphasizes using food labels and disregarding food marketing.

One other aspect Chanel notes as a positive is that the food guide addresses alcohol consumption.

"I really appreciate that there are several lifestyle recommendations listed. The website provides a lot of tips on how to eat healthily. . . the guide even mentions important impacts of our food choices, such as the impacts on the environment."

One other aspect Chanel notes as a positive is that the food guide addresses alcohol consumption.

Chanel encourages people to thoroughly read through the information provided with the new guide and to try to incorporate as many recommendations as possible that work for them.

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