Canada’s Food Guide 2019
Were you one of the over 25000 Canadians that gave your input, knowledge or opinion on the 2019 Canada’s Food Guide? If you were, then thank you and well done! This document took years to develop and is based on sound scientific principles of nutrients, well-being and health.
A year has passed since the launch, but what many don’t know is that it is so much more than two pages but a mobile-friendly web application with recipes, tips, guidelines, advice on meal planning, eating on a budget, incorporating activity into your life, eating at different stages of life and more. Check it out at https://canada.ca/foodguide
What’s everyone talking about?
Let’s delve into those two main pages to see what’s changed.
- Four food groups
- Portion sizes
- Servings per age and gender
- Plate model
- Half-plate of vegetables and fruit
- Half-plate of protein
- Quarter-plate of whole grains
- Water as a drink of choice
One of the cornerstones of a healthy diet is variety. We can get this from eating an assortment of vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. Having half of your plate as vegetables and fruit will remind you of the value of this category of foods.
Healthy eating is much more than food.
Be mindful of what you eat.
- Slow down and listen to hunger cues. Are you really hungry or just bored, stressed or fatigued?
Cook more often.
- Plan, cook and eat meals with others. See the food guide section “Tips for Healthy Eating” to learn more about healthier grocery shopping and healthy cooking methods.
- Eating out in a restaurant can be an enjoyable event for friends and families that will open up your senses and tastes to new flavours and cultural experiences from top chefs.
- However, we often stop at fast food establishments that do not offer nutrient-rich foods. Thus cooking at home can be a better option in this case. Again look at the “Tips for Healthy Eating” for meal planning, healthy cooking methods, food safety tips and recipes.
Enjoy your food.
- Think of your cultural food traditions. Check out the section on Healthy Eating for Holidays and Events on the website under tips.
Eat a variety of foods each day.
- Eat vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole grains and healthy fats.
- Choose protein from plants more often.
- Limit processed foods that are high in saturated fats, salt and sugar.
- Choose healthier items when eating out.
- The food guide website has a section on this too.
- Read food labels.
- This website will help: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/food-labels.html
- Be aware of food marketing. You might be surprised how this can affect your intake so check out this section. https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/healthy-eating-recommendations/marketing-can-influence-your-food-choices/
Who do Registered Dietitians think?
We asked Registered Dietitian, Dr. Linda Gillis, at George Brown College her opinion on the guide and its impact on culinary school education:
Having had three Canadian Food Guides in my career, I really appreciate the 2019 version. It takes the complicated science of nutrition, removes the math and makes it easier for families to understand.
Making half your plate vegetables will go a long way to making
I am concerned about culinary and health professionals who are making plates, recipes and recommendations for specific health concerns. At the college, we will likely still use serving sizes and portions from the 2007 Canadian Food Guide when looking at food at a clinical level until more guidance for this is given in updates.