The Government of Canada has put out a new Canada’s Food Guide for 2019. Below on the right is the new guide and on the left is the old guide. Canada’s Food Guides have been around since 1942, they usually change them every 10 or so years and are slowly changing for the better, I’d like to share with you what I think about the change.
Right away looking at the new one, I can see a huge difference. It’s a great improvement from the last one. I am a Holistic Nutrition Coach and I totally believe in order to be healthy you need to eat healthy whole foods, as well as doing things to take care of your body, mind, and spirit.
So what does Holistic mean? Holistic is a form of healing that considers the whole person, their body, mind, spirit, and emotions in the quest for optimal health and wellness. In this way, if people have imbalances (physical, emotional, or spiritual) in their lives, it can negatively affect
their overall health. (And, this means I love to help people feel good about themselves on the inside and outside through nutrition!)
So before we go further, I want to explain the difference between your “nutritional diet” and “going on a diet.” Lots of people think of a diet as a restrictive eating plan to lose weight. I consider your diet as what you eat to sustain yourself… Do you have a healthy whole foods diet, or do you eat mainly a fast food diet? I recommend we all eat a healthy whole foods diet, so therefore the new Canada’s food guide caught my attention when it was released.
Looking at the new guide, the first thing I see is all of the colorful vegetables and fruits. Fantastic! There is broccoli, carrots, colorful berries and fruits, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, etc. The more colorful your plate is the more nutrients and phytochemicals your body is absorbing. Each color gives us different benefits, so go ahead and
fill up your plate ½ full with vegetables and fruit (try to make that more veggies than fruits though).
Then we see the next section saying to eat protein foods. This has changed from the old guide that had milk and alternatives section and a meat and alternatives section. Since each gives us protein, they have combined those two food groups into one. The photo shows beans, lentils, eggs, fish, meat, nuts, seeds, tofu
choices of plant and animal protein sources.
Next is the section that says choose whole grain foods. It’s great that they are saying “whole grain” foods, not just “grain” foods. I also love that they have taken away all the photos of the processed and refined white bread, rolls, crackers, buns, bagels, and pancakes that are stripped of their nutritional value, and that they replaced them with a photo of wild rice, quinoa, and whole grain pasta. The difference between white rice and brown rice has a huge difference in how your body processes each one according to the nutrient value it contains. The more whole the grain is, the better for our bodily functions and our energy levels too.
Then we see to make water your drink of choice – Yes!! Water is so important for us to drink, it benefits every cell of our body and helps to keep things moving.
This is the second page of the food guide that helps you to find different ways to eat healthier.
- Be mindful of your eating habits – So be aware of where you eat, what, when, how much, how fast, how are you feeling, what are your emotions, etc. Take the time to eat slowly and properly chew your food, not rushing and eating on the go.
- Cook more often – By cooking our own foods we know what ingredients we are eating rather than eating processed foods with added unhealthy ingredients, preservatives, and genetically modified ingredients. This way you have control of your diet.
- Enjoy your food – Enjoy what you make and enjoy eating it. Enjoying shopping and preparing your food, trying new foods. Don’t restrict yourself with your food; we want to have a healthy relationship with our food. Find recipes that include your favorite foods and enjoy.
- Eat meals with others – Enjoying healthy foods with family, friends, neighbors or co-workers is a great way to connect and add enjoyment to your life. It can provide many benefits and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Social activity is important to our wellbeing; it creates a healthy relationship around food with others.
- Use food labels – This helps us to make healthier food choices, lets us see the ingredients and understand what we are eating and if we are getting our necessary nutrients.
- Limit foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat – Limiting the additives that are going into our body by staying away from processed and fast foods, or items that are made in a factory. Instead eat whole natural foods and healthy fats like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, flaxseeds, chia seeds, avocados and fish like salmon.
- Be aware of food marketing – A
dvertisementssuch as in magazines, TV, and the internet are all put on there by large corporations who have millions of dollars to advertise their unhealthy foods, and it is easy to fall into it. Their job is to trick us into wanting and buying their products. Beware of these, instead go to the farmers market to find some local healthy choices.
So looking at the whole new food guide I think it covers a lot, and has incorporated eating more whole foods. Eating frozen foods are a great alternative as well, they are usually flash frozen as soon as they are picked and may even have more nutrients than fruit that is shipped thousands of miles in the winter.
Remember that we are all different and will eat differently. There are 7 billion people on earth and therefore there are 7 billion different diets to suit us all. Have a look at your diet; what you eat in a day, week, and month. It’s not what you eat daily; it’s what you eat overtime that matters. Make your diet reflect you and not restrict you.
I hope this new guide helps you to look at healthy eating as more than just the food you eat to keep yourself living your healthiest life!