Meat and dairy's presence drastically reduced in latest serving of Canada's Food Guide

Canadians have a brand new food guide to help them make decisions when it comes to their nutrition plan, and it’s a large departure from the rainbow of four food groups most have come to recognize. Visualized as a dinner plate, Health Canada’s new offering has plant-based protein and vegetables front and centre. Meat, eggs, and dairy are there — but are not the main focus.

New for this version is the scrapping of the four key food groups. Instead of making sure a person has “vegetables and fruits, grain products, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives,” Canadians are now encouraged to have, “vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein” on a regular basis, with an emphasis on plant-based protein.

Visit the Health Canada site to view the new Canada’s Food Guide

(Health Canada)

Health Canada says that many animal-based foods are nutritious, however, they’re pushing for more of a reduction in saturated fat, meaning lean red meat and including wild game.

The new guide also offers a recommendation for people to take into account the environmental impact of the food they eat.

In regards to dairy, a big concern many producers had was that it was going to be taken off from the guide completely. That’s not the case according to Dr. Hasan Hutchinson, director general, Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

“We’re not excluding dairy from the snapshot, certainly in the picture of the composite plate, you have yogurt that’s right there in the protein group,” Hasan says.

“It’s not lost, and in the recipes, there’s quite a group of recipes that will be available and in there, there’s a selection that are vegetarian, plant-based, there are others that include dairy, and others that include meat and some that you can mix it up a bit as well.”

However, Hasan was quick to point out the dairy they’re recommending is the type that’s low in fat.

The last time the Canadian Food Guide was updated was back in 2011.

More to come….

Related: 

Opinion: Canada’s Food Guide —A new dish with a dash of condescension 

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