Is milk important? Canada food guide doesn’t focus

LIFE&STYLE

Canada has recently released a new food guide, which is being praised for being fuss-free and uncomplicated, by (seemingly) getting rid of a lot of notions about eating a specific amount of proportions. 

This simple food guide is also being hailed for focusing on eating fruits and vegetables and partly doing away with animal-based diets. 

Interestingly, the new food guide doesn’t focus a lot on dairy products, especially milk. 

The previous Canada food guide 
The previous Canada food guide consisted of 4 different food groups for a diet complete and healthy. 
Those four groups were:

1. Milk and milk products 
2. Meat and alternatives 
3. Grain products 
4. Fruits and vegetables. 

The new Canada food guide 

While the previous diet had a rainbow backdrop representing the four different groups, it has now been replaced by a single plate in the new guide.

This fuss-free food guide focused on a plant-based diet, filling almost half the plate with fruits and vegetables. The group size was reduced to three and the whole message behind the new healthy diet was crispy clear: Eat more plants and less meat and dairy-based products. 
The 3 groups are: 

1. Fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, broccoli, leafy greens etc. 
2. Whole grain foods like whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, whole oats etc. 
3. Protein foods like beans, lentils, lean meats etc. 

What is interesting to note is that even the protein category–which contributed to a quarter of the plate–largely consist of plant-based proteins including lentils, tofu, seeds, and chickpeas. 

Milk and other dairy products like cheese and yoghurt, which previously consisted of a separate group altogether, now were merely a part of the protein foods category, which also sheds light on how to eat more protein foods that come from plants. 

While these new guidelines for better health clearly seem to focus on eating a variety of unprocessed food and a whole lot of greens, the shift from meat and dairy has not really gone down well with dairy lobbies. 

The new guide also encouraged eating completely meatless meals, a couple times a week. 

What about milk? 

Instead of giving a separate section to dairy products, the latest guide focuses on moving towards a plant-based direction. According to Dr Hasan Hutchinson, director general of Health Canada’s office of nutrition policy and promotion, “We were very clear that when we were looking at the evidence base that we were not going to be using reports that have been funded by industry as well.”

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