A draft of the Canadian Food Guide circulated for public input indicates that the guide is about to reduce its emphasis on meat and dairy as elements of a healthy diet. The move would reduce the primary food groups to three: vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and a new protein foods group. The latter would include the “meat and alternatives” and “milk and milk products” categories, which up to now have constituted a fourth food group. The recommendation to consume two servings daily from each of these two categories is also set to be removed, as reported by Canadian Press.
Part of the motive for the change is to improve the eating habits of Canadians, says Health Canada, which publishes Canada’s Food Guide. In 2017 a Health Canada statement said Canadians don’t eat enough vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and that diets should shift toward a high proportion of plant-based foods while not excluding animal products altogether.
The new version of the guiode may also move away from recommending specific portion and serving sizes in line with more general guidelines such as “limit consumption of processed foods” and “make natural or minimally processed foods the basis of your diet.”
Dairy and meat producer organizations have already voiced concern about the pending changes, while health advocates are generally supportive.
Canada’s Food Guide was last updated in 2007.