Canada’s Food Guide Explained
Even if you’ve often heard about it, have you ever studied and followed the advice provided by Canada’s Food Guide? As you know, it classifies foods in 4 food groups: “Vegetables and Fruit”, “Grain Products”, “Milk and Alternatives”, and “Meat and Alternatives”. The guide also indicates the number of servings you should consume from each category on a daily basis, according to your age and gender. Because each group has its own variety of vitamins and minerals, it is important not to neglect any group, and to vary the foods you eat! So here are the main nutrients composing each group:
· Vegetables and Fruit: carbs, fiber, vitamins A, B6, C, and K, potassium.
· Grain Products: carbs, fiber, vitamin B1, folic acid, and iron.
· Milk and Alternatives: proteins, lipids, vitamins B2 and D, calcium.
· Meat and Alternatives: proteins, lipids, vitamins B3 and B12, zinc.
In addition to indicating the quantity of foods that should be eaten every day, the guide also provides several tips:
|Eat at least one dark green vegetable, and one orange vegetable per day.||Dark green leafy vegetables contain more folic acid, and orange vegetables contain more vitamin A.|
|Favor vegetables and fruits over juices.||Whole vegetables and fruits contain more fiber than juices.|
|At least half of your grain products servings should be whole grain.||Whole grain products contain more fiber, vitamins, and minerals.|
|Often substitute meat for alternatives, such as legumes or tofu.||Meat alternatives, such as legumes (chickpeas, beans, etc.), tofu, nuts, or seeds contain nutrients that are beneficial to heart health, such as fiber and good fats (unsaturated lipids).|
|Eat at least two servings of fish per week.||Fish contains omega-3 fats, which help protect against heart diseases.|
|Consume at least 30 to 45 ml of unsaturated fats per day.||What we mean by this is added fats, such as the oils used for cooking and salad dressings, margarine, and mayonnaise. These products contain unsaturated lipids (the good fats) which contribute to maintain heart health.|
By Vanessa Martin