Federal health minister launches new approach for Canada's Food Guide

Federal health minister launches new approach for Canada's Food Guide

This is exactly what the new Canadian food guide is promoting.

In the 12-year-old version the new guide is replacing, dairy played a prominent role: It was presented as a necessary food group, and adults were encouraged to consume two to three servings of milk or milk alternatives per day.

"The visual may have changed, but the advice to enjoy lean red meat with lots of vegetables, fruit and whole grains remains the same as previous iterations of the Food Guide", said Canadian Meat Council's CEO Chris White.

The document released Tuesday is only part of Health Canada's new healthy-eating recommendations. "Quite frankly, we should be focusing on the cakes, the sweets, the sugary drinks", she said.

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) welcome the positive changes announced today in Health Canada's unveiling of the updated Canada Food Guide.

Eating healthy doesn't have to be intimidating, according to the federal government and a local nutritionist.

Canada's Food Rules, as they were then known, first adopted imagery in 1944. "It takes time. It's a signal of where we're headed".

The new food guide's focus on drinking is in contrast to the 2007 edition, which only mentioned the high calories and sugar content as reasons to limit alcohol, arguments the current guide repeats.

The plate analogy is supposed to be more intuitive than a specific list of foods and serving sizes.

Hutchinson said the intent was not to cut dairy from the guide and pointed to examples where low-fat, low-sodium and unsweetened dairy products are listed within other recommended food categories, including suggested healthy proteins and beverages.

"I don't think we can all live on fresh food", he said, pointing to the increase in cost for fruit and vegetables during the winter.

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"The visual they've shown us is that there's a protein group and that meat is an important part of that", said Joyce Parslow, spokesperson with Canada Beef.

"The recommendations and online tools for consumers are easy to understand, evidence-informed and in line with the type of guidance that dietitians already use with their patients, clients and communities", she said.

"It's tremendous that Canadians are finally getting a kick in the butt to be eating more fruits and veggies".

The revamped guide stresses that Canadians should make water their drink of choice.

It's a win for plant-protein farmers, like those growing beans, chickpeas and lentils, but a potential threat to meat producers.

That kind of partnership could promote a meat loaf recipe that contains beef and lentils, he said.

"For too many years, Canada's Food Guide has compromised our health, environment and animals by emphasizing meat, dairy and eggs as being foundational in our diets".

Reacting to the report, the Canadian Pork Council said Canadians could feel good about eating meat, such as pork, due to the health benefits.

"It's one of the most impactful, fast-growing trends right now in the industry", said Robert Carter, executive director of food service for market research firm NPD Group.

"I think people do understand what proteins are, and considering beef is a very predominant, nutrient-dense protein, I think people will relate to it", Harvie said.

The new food safety regulations, which Canadian Food Inspection Agency says are consistent with worldwide standards, focus on prevention, along with speedy removal of unsafe food products from the marketplace.

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