Canadians are not identifying with Canada Food Guide anymore, dietitian says
An Edmonton dietitian is eschewing Canada’s Food Guide until Health Canada releases a more up-to-date version.
Laura MacLean, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for Dieticians of Canada, said she doesn’t use the 10-year-old guide in her practice anymore because it’s no longer relevant.
“Canadians just aren’t identifying with it anymore,” MacLean told Mark Connolly on CBC’s Edmonton AM Friday morning.
MacLean agrees with a proposal to rename the dairy section and replace the meat section with an overarching protein category.
“We’re seeing just a burst of other products available in our groceries,” she said, pointing to dairy alternatives such as soy milk, almond milk and rice milk.
Dietitian Laura MacLean supports renaming the milk and meat categories, as people choose alternatives more, such as soy, almond and rice milk. (CBC)
“Calling it the ‘milk products’ group may not just be as relevant in today’s world.”
The food guide is meant to give people advice on nutritional content, but MacLean said Canadians typically don’t use it for this purpose.
MacLean wants the revised guide to include direction not only on what we should eat, but how we eat.
“The way that we eat has such an impact on our health,” she said. “Eating together as a family or with friends, enjoying our meals without distraction — so having the TV off and cellphones out of the room,” she said.
MacLean thinks people need to slow down and savour meals, and listen to our bodies to realize when we’re full.
Milk is good source of calcium, vitamin D and protein, but Laura MacLean says a lot of consumers are turning to milk alternatives made with soy, rice or almonds. (Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
She also said developers and the City of Edmonton could have an active role in setting up healthier food environments when building communities.
MacLean envisions a Canada Food Guide focused more on eating plants and clarity on foods we should be avoiding, such as sugar-sweetened beverages provide few nutrients.
Canadians can give input until July 25th. Health Canada is expected to release the first part of a revised food guide in early 2018.