After much anticipation, the new food guide has launched. What do you think?
I personally like how the guide uses a plate to show what a balanced meal should look like. With this visual aid, I think the message is clear; it’s the same message I try to convey with clients everyday.
Keep it simple. Eat real food rich in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants, cook more often, eat with others and minimize consumption of processed foods. Treat water as king.
It’s also very exciting to see how plant based food choices are emphasized and/or encouraged. I’m glad to see portions are not predefined as each person’s consumption habits are very individualized. At the same time, here are my concerns:
- Through this diagram, how do people know if they are getting enough calcium per day? The population in Canada (as well as around the world) is aging; how do we ensure everyone is getting enough calcium to prevent osteoporosis and/or to maintain optimal bone health?
- Although skin is kept on the apple and the sweet potato in the guide, how many individuals recognize that as a cue to keep as much skin as possible (i.e. fibre) on all their fruit and vegetable consumption?
- Do people still consider potatoes and/or sweet potatoes to be vegetables?
- Why are examples of seafood not included as part of protein rich foods? Mussels/Clams/Oysters/Crab/Lobster/Shrimp all have a place on the plate as well.
- Canada is one of the world’s most multicultural countries in the world. Why is there no diversity in the food choices illustrated? Bok Choy, Okra, Naan could have been a few of the food choices to illustrate a little diversity in the palate of everyone.
- By eating a well balanced meal as per the plate, an individual should feel satisfied; however, what if he/she is not? Do individuals really understand the concept of mindful eating?
- Some individuals do well with 3 meals a day; however, others are “grazers”. There seems to be little guidelines on snacking.
- The new food guide acknowledges that healthy eating is more than just your relationship with food; we are all encouraged to read the food label to make better choices. How many individuals really know how to read the food label?