The New & Improved Canada's Food Guide
Canada's food guide was updated and released yesterday and it's pretty exciting stuff! It is a way of eating that I subscribe to and discuss with patients on a daily basis, and now it's out there for everyone to see. The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors was one of many groups who consulted with the government to help mold the new eating suggestions. There are some great things in the food guide that I want to point out...
The visual representation of the food guide is that half your plate should be fruit & vegetables, 1/4 should be a lean protein source (animal or vegetable protein), 1/4 of your plate should be whole grains, and the beverage of choice should be water (not juice of any kind!). My dinner last night was a homemade vegetable & tofu soup with soba (buckwheat) noodles in it, so it hit the mark perfectly!
The food guide also touches on the emotional aspect of food & eating, which is impossible to separate from making healthy food choices! It suggests that you be mindful of your eating habits, that you spend time with family & friends eating, and most importantly to enjoy what you're eating. I discuss mindful eating with people all the time... if you're going to be eat a cookie then I want you to sit down and really enjoy it! Don't just shove it in your mouth as you're running out the door because then it feels like a waste to me.
Reading labels is also a focus of the new food guide. I read labels every time I go to the grocery store! If two kinds of cereal are on sale, I'll read the label and choose the one with less sugar or more fibre. If I'm buying yogurt, I read the label to see which has more calcium or more protein or less sugar. It's important to look before you buy so that you can make the healthiest, most nutrient dense choices for your body.
Last but not least, the food guide talks about trying to cook more. Working in downtown Toronto as a Naturopathic Doctor I see tons of people who eat out on a daily basis. I understand that life can get busy, and am happy to work with people so that if they're eating out every day that at least they are making the best possible choices at a restaurant or food court. I also love sharing easy recipes and encouraging people to cook. I love cooking & experimenting in the kitchen, but I also get busy so I often prep ahead of time, meal plan, and batch cook so I have healthy options in my freezer for those long days when I know I'm not going to cook.
If you'd like to discuss healthy eating, please make an appointment come in and see me! And for more information on Canada's Food Guide, check out the website at https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/