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Understanding the new Canadian food guide

March is Nutrition Month, a time to celebrate healthy eating and further educate Canadians on food choices that will enable them to live healthier lives. The government of Canada recently published a revised food guide, the first update in 12 years, that provides Canadians with new guidance on healthy eating. They have eliminated the four main food groups and suggested serving sizes and replaced them with suggestions on types of foods to eat, how to stay hydrated, and considerations for where, when, how, and why to eat. There is a much stronger emphasis on consuming plant-based foods instead of dairy and meat.

In honour of Nutrition Month, we have compiled the latest evidence-informed resources to help you better understand the new food guide recommendations using the latest trustworthy information from the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal.

New principals from the 2019 food guide include:

1. Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods that come from plants

o   Blog Post: 5 diet changes supported by research evidence

o   Blog Post: Oh my veggies! Can a vegetarian diet help you lose weight?

o   Web Resource Rating: What should I eat?: Protein

o   Web Resource Rating: Healthy eating

2. Limiting highly processed foods and choosing healthier options when dining out by using labelling to make more informed decisions

o   Blog Post: Does menu labelling affect food choices?

o   Blog Post: Does salt really affect blood pressure?

3. Making water your drink of choice

o   Web Resource Rating: Sugary drinks


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DISCLAIMER: Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website

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