news & trends

What’s the Latest Update on Canada’s Food Guide?

canada's food guide

At the annual Dietitians of Canada conference in Vancouver, Ann Ellis – Manager of Dietary Guidance Manager at Health Canada – shared the latest update on the revisions to Canada’s Food Guide. We were there and are happy to share our insights!

The current rainbow design Food Guide communicated dietary guidance with an “all-in-one” tool. The new Food Guide will include a “Suite of Resources” using different tools and resources that will all be launched throughout 2018 and 2019. These timelines are later than originally anticipated as Health Canada is waiting for the release of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) 2015 data.

Specifically, here’s a look at the timelines for the new Canada’s Food Guide:

In late fall 2018, Health Canada plans to launch a mobile-responsive web application to deliver Canada’s Food Guide Suite of Resources in an accessible, relevant and useful way for Canadians. This will house:

Canada’s Dietary Guidelines for Health Professionals and Policy Makers – A report providing Health Canada’s policy on healthy eating. This report will form the foundation for Canada’s Food Guide tools and resources.
Canada’s Food Guide Healthy Eating Principles – Communicating Canada’s Dietary Guidelines in plain language.
• Canada’s Food Guide Graphic – Expressing the Healthy Eating Principles through visuals and words.
Canada’s Food Guide Interactive Tool – An interactive online tool providing custom information for different life stages, in different settings.
Canada’s Food Guide Web Resources – Mobile-responsive healthy eating information (factsheets, videos, recipes) to help Canadians apply Canada’s Dietary Guidelines.

In Spring 2019, Health Canada plans to release:
Canada’s Healthy Eating Pattern for Health Professionals and Policy Makers – A report providing guidance on amounts and types of foods as well as life stage guidance.
Enhancements to Canada’s Food Guide – Interactive Tool and Canada’s Food Guide – Web Resources – Enhancements and additional content to Canada’s web application on an ongoing basis.

A few other insights:
– Health Canada is hoping to get back to an overall pattern of eating and highlight nutrients of public health concern. The new Canada’s Food Guide will also have a heavy focus on food skills and determinants to health.
– There is no intent to advise consumers to avoid meat in the new Food Guide.
– The new Food Guide will focus more on the proportionality and frequency of meals, rather than numbers of servings to consume. In other word, information about number of servings may be more “behind the scenes” info for health professionals rather than front-facing info for consumers

Sign for our free nutrition e-newsletter for more insights and we’ll keep you posted on the release of the new Canada’s Food Guide resources!

How to Prevent Cancer – The Latest Recommendations from the Experts

2018 06 - cancer prevention recos

Just last month, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) released their Third Expert Report Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: A Global Perspective. This new report builds on the information from the two previous reports in 1997 and 2007, and brings together the very latest research, findings and cancer prevention recommendations from an Expert Panel. Here are the 10 recommendations which promote an overall healthy lifestyle and holistic way of life, including healthy patterns of diet and physical activity.

1. Be a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight (as measured by Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference) throughout life is one of the most important ways to protect against cancer. Excess body weight is associated with over a dozen types of cancer.

2. Be physically active. There is strong evidence that physical activity protects against cancers of the colon, breast and endometrium. Be physically active as part of everyday life. The Expert Panel recommends walking more and sitting less.

3. Eat wholegrains, vegetables, fruit and beans. Make these foods a usual part of your daily diet. Aim for at least 30 grams of fibre every day from food. Eat a diet high in all types of plant foods including at least five servings of a variety of non-starchy vegetables and fruit every day.

4. Limit consumption of ‘fast foods’ and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars (such as pre-prepared dishes, snacks, bakery foods, desserts and candy). Limiting these foods helps control calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight.

5. Limit consumption of red meat and processed meat. There is strong evidence that consumption of red meat and processed meat are both causes of colorectal cancer. The Expert Panel notes that this recommendation does not mean that you have to completely avoid eating meat. However, if you do eat red meat, limit consumption to no more than about three portions per week (a maximum of about 350 to 500 grams or 12-18 ounces of cooked red meat, or about 700-750 grams of uncooked red meat). Eat very little, if any, processed meat.

6. Limit consumption of sugar sweetened drinks. For hydration, drink mostly water and unsweetened drinks such as tea or coffee without added sugar. When it comes to fruit juice, the Expert Panel advises to not drink fruit juice in large amounts.

7. Limit alcohol consumption. For cancer prevention, it’s best not to drink alcohol. If you do drink alcohol, don’t exceed the national guidelines.

8. Rely on diet rather than supplements. For most people, consuming the right foods and drinks is more likely to prevent cancer than taking supplements.

9. Breastfeed your baby. For mothers, breastfeed your baby if you can. Breastfeeding is good for both mother and baby – it helps protect the mother from breast cancer, and it protects children against excess weight gain, overweight and obesity.

10. Cancer survivors. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed or are going through treatment, get nutritional care and guidance on physical activity from trained professionals. If you can, follow the Cancer Prevention Recommendations as far as possible unless otherwise advised by your health care professional.

Click here to read the complete report.