I’m proud to be Canadian for a multitude of reasons but most recently, because of the proposed changes to our nation’s food guide . This is the first overhaul of the guide in over a decade. Now these are just proposed changes - final changes won’t be released until 2018 but I, for one, applaud their efforts. It's just another example of how this plant-based movement is gaining momentum. Everywhere I look these days, I’m seeing articles promoting a whole foods plant-based diet. I just received one of those free local fall circulations in my mailbox and there were 3 articles on the very subject.
Regardless of where your eating habits lie (paleo, meat-eater, pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan), there is something we can all agree on - we know that eating more plants is indisputably better for you. It adds years to your life, reduces chronic diseases and inflammation, is better for our planet, makes you more regular and heck…makes you look better.
The guide’s proposed changes would actually eliminate milk and alternatives as a food group (bravo! see my post on calcium) and would encourage plant protein over animal protein ie. peas, beans, lentils. The guide has kids drinking water as the beverage of choice. What? No more juice and chocolate milk? Yes!
There is a plethora of science and research supporting the long-term benefits of a plant-based diet which is why I’m happy to finally see some progress. In my opinion, this is long overdue. What I particularly love about this is that the changes will be brought to our kids at the school level. In health classes, they will learn about current nutrition information based on current nutritional science (that ideally is not backed by meat and dairy lobbyists who, let’s be honest, do not have our kids’ best interests at heart). It brings to mind my daughter’s health sheet she brought home just last year where kids were supposed to categorize "good" foods and "bad" foods. She put cows milk in the “bad food” category which I’m sure surprised the heck out of her teacher! At the very least, it will be discussion about nutrition options.
There are so many positives that come from these changes - encouraging more meatless meals, eating home-cooked meals together as a family, eliminating sugary drinks, and, let’s face it, helping our planet (wildlife loss, soil degradation, greenhouse gas emissions).
Good on ya Canada, eh!