This was a big week in the world of nutrition news for Canada! The new Canada Food Guide was unveiled after much anticipation! It has been a topic of conversation around here and I thought I would briefly touch on my thoughts regarding the changes.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the direction of the food guide – more produce, water as the drink of choice & connecting with others while eating. Those all get two thumbs up from me. Involving your children in the kitchen, creating a family budget and thinking about how to foster healthy choices at home, school and work are all excellent things for us to be thinking about. In fact, many of the recommendations that were made are things that I’ve been telling my clients for quite some time already. To have an official document to back that up does feel pretty great.
A few drawbacks? The recommendation of low fat dairy, the use of margarine instead of a whole food option such as butter or coconut oil as well as white & highly refined flour in the suggested recipes is a little tough to swallow. I also didn’t see anything about being sure to include healthy fats such as those found in salmon, olive oil or raw nuts & seeds. There has been much research & discussion in the world of nutrition about the importance of healthy fats to our hormone regulation, nervous system and overall brain health and yet I still have a sense of a little fat phobia in the document.
In the arena of dairy, I do think we are wise to enjoy in moderation overall, however consuming low-fat dairy decreases our ability to absorb vitamins A, D, E, & K. Vitamins D & K support the absorption of calcium. This means that when we only choose low fat dairy, we are affecting how well our body can utilize calcium.
“Several meta-analyses point to the resounding conclusion that, although dairy products contain a high SFA content, their consumption induces a positive or neutral effect on human cardiovascular health