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Does The New Canada’s Food Guide Work For Fit People?

You might have heard that Canada’s Food Guide recently had a makeover. It’s the first revision in over 12 years! The new food guide underwent a complete overhaul and it should help to change the way we all look at food and nutrition. Not without flaws, Canada’s Food Guide 2019 has some key takeaways – even for the healthy and active – to help you reach your weight, nutrition and athletic goals. So, yes, Canada’s Food Guide should work for fit people.


Proportion and Portion

What is Canada’s Food Guide weight loss strategy? It’s all about the types of foods (think macros) you eat – and how much. The new program uses a plate as a visual to show the recommended amount of each food grouping. You’ll see that the majority of our food intake should be from fruits and vegetables, instead of the old versions emphasis on grains. The approach of Canada’s Food Guide servings sizes, makes it very easy to understand how much food to eat at every meal. For a more active lifestyle (more than 150 minutes of exercise a week, your protein/carb needs may be different from what is recommended, but it’s best to check with a nutritionist/trainer in your area to determine your specific nutritional needs.

Up your Plant Protein

One of the biggest changes to Canada’s Food Guide 2019 is the recommendation to have more plant-based protein in your diet. This is important, not only for your health, but because of the detrimental effect of mass farming on the environment. Plus, plant protein sources are cheaper to manufacture and farm. Also, these foods, like soy, legumes and nuts, are more environmentally sustainable and have a lesser carbon footprint than beef, chicken and other animal proteins.


Hold the Dairy

The old Canada’s Food Guide meal plan recommended foods instead of nutrients. The void of any specific mention of dairy as a section of the guide, is very intentional and is a huge change from the mandatory glass of milk with meals, from our parents’ generation. However, the dairy industry has been harshly criticized, due to the administration of hormones and antibiotics to dairy cows. Plus, with significant number of Canadians managing lactose intolerance (16%) as well as vegans (10%) seeking non-dairy alternatives, we are seeing shift from conventional milk to non-dairy alternatives, such as soy, coconut and nut “milks.”


Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to be Expensive

Not everyone has to blow a week’s salary at Whole Foods to eat healthy, suggests Canada’s Food Guide. In fact the program offers tips for the budget-savvy.

  • Buy frozen, canned or dried produce to ensure you are getting sufficient fruit and vegetable intake, without the risk of spoilage.
  • Choose local, in-season produce.
  • Consume more plants, as animal-based proteins tend to be more expensive.


Be mindful and healthy

Perhaps the biggest change to Canada’s Food Guide 2019 is the acknowledgement that a healthy diet is about much more than just the food we eat. It’s about our behaviours around food behaviours and the environment. It’s about mindful eating, cooking at home, reading food labels, eating meals with others. It’s meant to improve both overall health and our relationship with food. And that should fit within every healthy and active person’s lifestyle.