Canada’s Food Guide Update

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The Canadian government recently released the updated version of Canada’s Food Guide, which hasn’t been updated for over a decade. Many people took part in the consultations and provided feedback on the proposed guidelines. It was noted that reports that have been funded by industry were not included in the research.

There are many important positive messages that are illuminated in this report such as:
-Being mindful of your eating habits
-Nutritious foods can reflect cultural preferences and food traditions
-Eating with others can bring enjoyment to healthy eating and can foster connections between generations and cultures
-Food choices can have an impact on the environment.
The guide does, however, encourage to consume protein foods, and to include plant-based protein more often. Some plant-based protein sources include ancient grains, legumes, seeds and nuts, nutritional yeast, spirulina and soy-based foods such as tempeh, tofu, and edamame. I wonder how many people can actually consume these plant-based proteins? From this list, I know that we would not be able to consume ancient grains, legumes as well as soy-based foods due to food sensitivities. Consuming ancient grains cause digestive distress” for some folks. If your digestive system is impaired, it impacts all of your body systems.

There is no mention in the guide about alternative flours such as almond flour. The guide mentions unsweetened coconut milk, but does not encourage coconut oil as it is a saturated fat. Instead, the guide suggests to replace foods with high saturated fats with unsaturated fats (nuts, seeds and avocados).

The greatest lesson that I have learned through my nutritional studies is that we are unique – what works for one may or may not work for someone else. Genetics plays a factor in how foods are metabolized. Although the guide has made many improvements, the bottom line is that there is no “one size fits all”.

Healthy Comforts – A collection of over 150 recipes that are free from gluten, dairy, grains, soy and refined sugar. By Lena Ferrara, C.I. and Melinda Rapallo-Ferrara, MEd.

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