Just recently I had a lovely lunch with Carol Dombrow, Registered Dietitian with the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Health Check. Amazing discussions happen when a couple of passionate dietitians get together! Throw into the mix that Joyce Parslow joined us, Canada Beef’s Consumer Culinary Manager, and I think we could have spent the whole day discussing, sharing, and debating food and nutrition hot topics!
One of the topics that came up was Canada’s Food Guide, and how few people are actually using it. Ok – unless you are the parent of a grade-schooler, when was the last time you even saw the Food Guide?!? It’s one of those documents that everyone kind of knows about – and vaguely knows they should care about – but for most, it has little relevance to their everyday life.
What a shame!
The Food Guide is an amazing tool. It’s really not all that complicated once you spend a few minutes looking at it, and anyways, you certainly don’t need to follow it to a tee… it’s very useful as a general guide directing you towards a ‘pattern’ of good food choices.
Some highlights from it:
- Of the four food groups, the one you should eat most servings of is veggie and fruit
- At least half your grain choices should be whole grains
- You should be drinking or eating at least two dairy choices each day
- You should be eating at least one dark green veg a day and at least one orange one
How many of these can you say you do?
Most Canadians are not eating the Food Guide way. In fact, the majority of the calories in the diets of Canadians come from refined carbohydrates; we don’t meet our targets for fruits and veggies; and our portion sizes are way bigger than what the Guide recommends. For these three reasons alone, we’re way off track from Canada’s Food Guide.
It’s a new year – no time like the present to try something a little out of the usual! For a great ‘healthy eating tool’, why not take a moment and re-visit the Food Guide. You can access it here, or I would be delighted to mail one out to you personally (e-mail me at kgale at canadabeef dot ca).
It’s noteworthy to mention that the one recipe on the Guide is a Beef Stir-Fry! Here’s to healthy eating!
ps. I loved this little feature in the Globe and Mail recently – it shows how effective the Food Guide is at providing a healthy eating pattern.