Weighing In on Canada’s New Food Guide

January 24, 2019 2:35 pm / Posted in

I, along with many other health care practitioners, have been awaiting the new version of Canada’s Food Guide with bated breath for months now. I wasn’t quite sure whether it would continue to contradict what many food scientists, trainers, and dietitians knew to be true, as the previous version did, or whether the update would be a much-needed improvement. And then, a few days ago, Health Canada unveiled its new Food Guide.

This new Food Guide says that you should eat lots of fruits and vegetables, which is awesome. Of course you all know that I’m a big fan of produce! Unfortunately, our long winters sometimes make it impossible and too expensive to always get fresh produce. On top of that, a lot of our fresh produce can be imported from far away, a journey that can cause fruits and vegetables to lose their nutrients. Therefore, I’m totally in favour of eating frozen fruits and vegetables in the winter time, since they’re picked at their peak ripeness and can hold their nutrients longer as they’re transported to your grocery store.


Canadians are also being encouraged to drink water, eating fewer processed foods, and being aware of food marketing. These are all great tips to keeping your body healthy! You all know that I’m a huge fan of drinking plenty of water and focusing on eating unprocessed foods that your body can recognize. Check, check, and check!


But the best part of the new Food Guide for me is the mindfulness component. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the Government of Canada is now actively promoting mindfulness and other healthy food behaviours, like eating with others and taking more time to cook. The Food Guide’s new psychological component is so important to making long-term change in your life. Being mindful – that is, focusing completely on what you’re doing right now and taking the time to enjoy what’s going on – is key to eating well,


ou can instinctively find out what foods are doing your body good and what foods are yummy but leave you feeling sluggish and cranky. Being social while you eat, for example by taking the time to have family dinners, helps you make connections with people who are important to you. Human connection is crucial to staying balanced and happy with your life and food is a great excuse to bring people together. It also ensures that you’re feeling good while you eat, which helps you digest better. Cooking more often is great for your wallet and your waistline, since you have more control over what you put in your meals, can make healthier choices than any restaurant, and always costs less than eating out. Plus, you get to season food exactly how you like it. Sounds like a much more fun and delicious way of eating to me!

Long story short: I absolutely love this new Food Guide. It emphasizes fruits and vegetables, healthy protein sources (including plant protein!), and whole grains. The new Guide encourages you to drink water – stay hydrated, folks! – and goes above and talks about healthy eating being about more than just the food you eat. It’s a mindset and a lifestyle. Go ahead and check it out here!


If you ever need a bit more help with your eating habits, please don’t hesitate in coming into see me for a consultation. burke@burkecleland.com 613.290.6249




Posted by