New food guide replaces servings with guidelines

Fruits and vegetables, grain products, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives are no longer on the Canadian food guide menu.

The new guide released Jan. 22 instead offers guidelines on healthy foods and beverages. It doesn’t set out how many servings people should eat each day or the size of those servings.

Health Canada says vegetables, fruit, whole grains and proteins should be consumed regularly. As expected, it suggests plant-based protein should be eaten more often.

It recommends people eat foods that contain mostly unsaturated fat instead of those with saturated fat.

And, it says people should choose to drink water because it promotes hydration without adding calories.

The second guideline addresses foods that undermine healthy eating. The guide advises that processed or prepared food and beverages that contribute excess sodium, sugar or saturated fat not be consumed regularly. It notes the health risks associated with drinking alcohol.

Finally, it recommends that people prepare and cook their own food to support healthy eating and use food labels to help them make good choices.

While the new guide doesn’t prescribe serving numbers or sizes, it does contain an illustration showing a plate filled with food. Half of it is fruits and vegetables, a quarter is protein and a quarter is whole grain foods.

The guide was last updated in 2007.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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