Canada’s new food guide is out, and it is incorporating a lot of new messages, not just food choices. The revision includes recommendations to turn back the clock and enjoy food with family and friends, to cook at home, limit highly processed foods and to make sure and enjoy what you are eating. The new food guide also made a point to be more aware of your food choices and outside influences, reminding us to be savvy of marketing techniques and read labels so we know exactly what we are consuming.
The revamped food guide ditches the food groups and instead, uses a plate to show what a healthy meal is comprised of; having half your plate filled with bright, colourful fruits and veggies, one quarter of your plate filled with whole grains and the last quarter focusing on plant-based protein sources like beans, nuts, tofu and lentils. Water is in, recommending it to be the drink of choice.
The messaging surrounding food choices has been tumultuous over the past decade, with new and extreme diets popping up consistently. With this mixed messaging it’s hard for us to know how to eat healthy. This new guide was created using the latest research about food, health and chronic disease to ideally take the guesswork out of it.
When looking at nutrition for cancer specifically, this guide covers a lot of the important aspects, treating food as medicine to help support a longer, healthier life. Research has shown that cutting down (or out) meat, and reducing (or eliminating) dairy can have a large impact on cancer outcomes. Animal-based foods contain growth factors, naturally present in these foods that can cause cancer progression. In contrast, increasing your daily intake of fruit and veggies provides your body with a large array of phyto-nutrients that help support your immune system, provide healthy prebiotics to support a strong gut flora able to fight off foreign invaders and can help you achieve a more optimal body fat composition that can lead to improve outcomes for patients with cancer.
Overall, we are impressed with the new food guide and feel that it is a marked improvement from the old food groups. If we all focused on filling our plate with more vegetables, we would all experience a reduced risk of cancer and chronic disease, not to mention more energy, weight loss and a better mood.