Check out the NEW Canada Food Guide and upcoming Nutrition Classes in the South Zone
Cross posted: The NUTRITION TIMES ~ prepared monthly by South Zone Dietitians, Nutritional Services.
The new Canada's Food Guide takes a new approach to healthy eating recommendations with a healthy pattern of eating.
What is different:
- The 2007 food rainbow with specific serving sizes and numbers of servings has been replaced with a healthy eating pattern; a colourful plate highlighting healthy food choices and eating habits.
- The four food groups have been replaced by general categories: vegetables and fruits,
- protein foods, whole grain foods. Milk and Alternatives and Meat and Alternatives have been combined into the protein foods.
- The new food guide is relevant to all Canadians and inclusive of Indigenous Peoples (culture and food traditions are part of healthy eating.)
- The new food guide is more than just what to eat, it is also about how you eat. It includes messages to cook at home more often, eatmeals with others, be mindful of your eating habits and enjoy your food. It also includes information on health risks associated with drinking alcohol.
What is the same:
- Recommends choosing plant-based foods more often. Plant-based foods include vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, tofu, nuts and seeds.
- Recommends satisfying thirst with water instead of sugary drinks.
- Enjoy a variety of foods each day.
- Limit highly processed foods such as pastries, candy, sugary breakfast cereals, sugary drinks, lunch meats, and noodle or rice mixes. These foods are high in calories, fat, sugar or salt (sodium).
- Choose foods with unsaturated fats (vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish) instead of saturated ones (cream, butter, fatty meat, coconut and palm oils).
Tips for putting it into practice:
- Have vegetables and fruit with each meal.
- Keep a jug of cold water in the fridge. Add some mint or fruit for different flavours.
- Choose whole grains such as quinoa, barley, wild rice, and whole grain pasta, breads and cereals.
- Use leftover baked or roasted meats instead of deli meats.
- Use lentils, beans or tofu instead of meat in burritos, tacos, soup, or a stir-fry.
What this means:
The new food guide emphasizes more plant-based foods. Can I still eat meat and drink milk?
Yes! The new food guide recommends choosing plant-based proteins more often as they can provide more fibre and less saturated fat than other types of protein. However meats and milk products are also healthy protein foods and provide important nutrients such as vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
As the new food guide recommends limiting highly processed foods; choose poultry, fish or lean meats instead of hot dogs, sausage, ham, deli meat, or jerky. The food guide also recommends foods lower in saturated fats so remove visible fat and skin from meat and poultry and choose lower fat milk products such as part skim milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Plant-based proteins include legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, and fortified soy beverages. Try having these foods more often. A registered dietitian can help you meet your nutrient needs when planning a vegetarian pattern of eating. Plant-based beverages such as almond, cashew or rice beverages are too low in protein to fit in the protein food group. They are also too low in fat and energy for children under 2 years of age.
The new food guide recommends water as the drink of choice. How does milk and 100% juice fit now?
Drink water for thirst instead of sugary drinks and fruit juices. White milk and fortified soy beverages are still healthy choices. Children in particular need enough calcium to support healthy growth and development and calcium rich foods are still the best source. Milk and soy beverages are also good protein sources.
Sugary drinks such as pop, slushes, iced teas, and fruit drinks are high in added sugars. These added sugars, which are called free sugars, increase the risk of dental decay, weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Free sugars also include the sugars found in 100% fruit juices.
Free sugars do not include the natural sugars found in actual vegetables and fruits or plain milk. These less processed foods are healthy food choices.
For more information on the new Canada’s Food Guide and making healthy eating a habit go to: https://food-guide.canada.ca/
You will also find tips for healthy eating, downloadable resources, and recipes.
Upcoming Nutrition Classes
(most classes are free)
Baby Steps Infant Nutrition Information on feeding babies 0-12 months.
Ongoing. Register 403-388-6668.
Alberta Healthy Living Program: Classes are ongoing throughout South Zone to help manage chronic conditions. Topics include Diabetes, Weight Management, Stress Management, Healthy Eating to Reduce your Risk, Emotional Eating and more.
For information on sessions available go to:
To register call:
Lethbridge and area, 403-388-6654
If you have questions, contact your local
Registered Dietitian at Community Health Services:
801 1st Avenue South Lethbridge, AB, T1J 4L5
For more information on this or other nutrition topics, go to