The Canada’s new food guide has been released this week and I have to admit, we’re definitely going in the right direction. We know that genetics plays a huge role in how we metabolize foods and that nutritional approaches are highly individualized. But if I were tasked to build a meal plan for the general population, it would be pretty close to this one.
Here’s what I like about it:

1) MORE PLANT-BASED. I’m a big proponent of the paleo and keto diets, but that doesn’t mean minimizing vegetable intake. Prioritize veggies over fruits and eat them whole rather than in smoothies.

2) EAT PROTEIN FOODS. The Milk category is gone, and I’m fine with that. Milk is nutrient-rich but was designed to promote rapid growth in newborns. In a population battling obesity, growth-promoting foods shouldn’t be encouraged. Plant proteins are lumped in with animal proteins, but we should be aware of the differences in amino acid composition, nutrient density (e.g. iron), and the coexistence of anti-nutrients (lectins, phytates, oxalates).

3) MORE SCIENCE, LESS LOBBYING. The government finally followed the science and focused on its population’s health rather than its economics.

4) HOW TO EAT. I really love this one. The guide stopped telling us HOW MUCH TO EAT and focused on eating HABITS. It’s worth repeating here:
• Be mindful of your eating habits
• Take time to eat
• Notice when you are hungry and when you are full
• Cook more often
• Plan what you eat
• Involve others in planning and preparing meals
• Enjoy your food
• Culture and food tradition can be a part of healthy eating
• Eat meals with others

6) EXTRA TIPS. The guide offers great tips on how to eat at different life stages, eating on a budget, in restaurants, at school, and how to be environmentally conscious. It even recommends growing your own food in a community garden!

5) DRINK WATER. Our last guide said fruit juice was the same as a fruit. Now, the ONLY beverage that is recommended is good ol’ plain water.

I espouse a functional approach to health using ancestral paradigms. However, if we ate the way the guide recommends, I’m positive we’ll see big improvements in our population’s health and wellness.