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Canada's Food Guide

Healthy Food Choices

Plant based foods - Plant based diets/foods will provide more fiber and contain less saturated fats. Plant based diets/foods also provide the benefit of being heart-healthy.

Fruits and vegetables - The nutrients found in fruits and vegetables are vital for health and maintenance of your body. The potassium in fruit (bananas, oranges, grapefruit) and vegetables (cooked spinach, cooked broccoli, sweet potatoes) can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Whole grain - Fiber from whole grains, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for healthy bowel function and helps reduce constipation.

Healthy Fats - Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats found in olive oil, avocados and certain nuts. They can help with weight loss, reduce the risk of heart disease and decrease inflammation.

Limit Highly Processed Foods - Highly processed foods are high in sugar, fat and salt. They lack fiber, vitamins and minerals. People who consume more processed foods have a greater risk of obesity, hypertension, and high blood sugar levels. This can lead to heart disease and diabetes.

Make water your drink of choice - The body is functioning at its best when properly hydrated. Drinking sufficient water boosts your metabolism and helps the body properly break down food.

Healthy Eating Habits

Be mindful - Mindful eating is a habit that needs to be practiced and a good start is listening to your body. This means stopping when you’re feeling full and making sure to have small snacks on hand to eat when your body is telling you it needs energy. This reduces skipped meals when you’re busy at work or school and can actually help your brain function better.

Cook more often - Cooking at home means you can see what ingredients are going into your body which allows you to make healthier choices. You control the types of fats to use, the amounts of salts and sugars which is a big factor when comparing take-out to at home cooking.

Enjoy your food - When you do sit down for meals, make sure to properly enjoy your meal. Put your phone away, look at everything on your plate and be thankful for the nutrition you’re about to give your body. If you’re used to eating while watching TV or on your phone, it’s easy to not notice what your body is telling you which leads to over-eating.

Eat with others - There are many benefits to eating with others, whether they’re psychological (providing a sense of rhythm and regularity in lives) or social (children benefit by developing social skills). Regular mealtimes are good biologically. They make us stop and focus on eating in upright chairs which improves digestion. The act of talking and listening with friends and family also slows down the eating process which helps our body communicate to us when it’s full.

Major Changes from the 2007 Food Guide

You'll notice that there are no more four food groups. Instead, you will see three groupings on the plate. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein sources. While the plate still has meat products on it, there is more focus on suggesting to Canadians to look at the variety of foods available that can provide similar nutrients. And lastly, water is now the beverage of choice. No more images or suggestions of milk or fruit juice in the updated version of the guide and it warns of the sugar content in other beverages.

For more information about the Canada Food Guide:

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