Canada’s food guide is in need of a face lift to help reflect our current food environment. Health Canada recognizes that need and has decided to revise our food guide. The ultimate purpose of Canada’s food guide is to provide practical eating recommendations based on evidence-based scientific research. All to help inform and better our food choices.
Phase 1 of this massive project is involves YOU! Participate in a survey to help provide Health Canada with input on what needs to be improved in the NEW food guide.
Your input will be used to (Government of Canada, 2016):
Identify ways to effectively communicate nutrition information to Canadians
Develop healthy eating recommendations and policies
Better understand different audiences’ use of healthy eating recommendations
(click on box to access the survey) The survey is available until December 8, 2016.
This initial phase got me thinking about what I would want to see changed and I came up with a few things (for now…haha).
1) What nutrients to limit (e.g. sugar, salt etc.) and how to do so (e.g. pack lunches, prepare meals at home etc.)
2) A better reflection of today’s food world
Our food guide needs to reflect cultural diverse foods and meals
Should provide information on processed foods and how to reduce intake
Recommendations on sugar intake
Include many sources of protein (with more vegan and vegetarian options)
Ways to get critical nutrients, like calcium without emphasizing dairy as the only source (although I love my dairy- side note!)
3) Make it simple
Less of a focus on the amount (grams, millilitres etc.) of each food group
Focus on “how much” in a simpler way, for example fill have your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal (visit www.halfyourplate.ca for more information on this) – I think this is much simpler than saying have 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables if you are an adult female. I mean who really counts servings?? Your serving also varies depending on the fruit or vegetable you eat, so it gets quite confusing
Focus more on what foods we should eat in a simple and practical way, for example try to eat two green vegetables a day
4) Include some practical “eating” tips
It would be ideal if the new food guide provided us with practical healthy living tips that are based on scientific evidence. For example, enjoy more meals together as a family because they can help improve child self-esteem etc., prepare meals at home when possible, try not to skip meals etc.
My list could go on but I think the 4 things I mentioned above are major things I would love to see reflected in the new Canadian food guide. What would you like to see??
Your input is SO important. Please take the survey and get involved!
Eat Right Feel Right
*(Image from: Government of Canada - http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/healthy-eating-saine-alimentation/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php)