NutriChem’s Take on the New Canada Food Guide
Written by Registered Holistic Nutritionists: Laura Mierzwa, Kate Orlando and Julia Davie
It seems as though we’ve been patiently waiting for years for Canada Food Guide to catch up to the mainstream world of nutrition. They finally released the newest update, so our nutritionists are here to weigh in and give you the NutriChem take on the new recommendations. Some thing’s you’ll notice taking a quick look at the new plate format, is that dairy products have been removed, they are focusing on plant-based protein and suggest half the plate to be veggies/fruit. You will also see that H2O is the new drink of choice, which means goodbye to sugar laden fruit juices.
NutriChem’s take: Plant protein is great choice whether you’re a meat eater or a vegetarian! My favourite plant protein foods include chickpeas, black beans, red/green lentils, tempeh (organic fermented soy), mung beans, walnuts, almonds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds! Be cautious of over consuming processed soy foods like soy milk, tofu and other soy products as they are often genetically modified.
NutriChem’s take: Whole grains are much preferred over their processed forms as they have much more nutrients and fibre. Reduce breads, muffins, cakes and pastries and bump up the quinoa, wild rice, millet and buckwheat. These grains when combined with a bean, nut, seed or legume make a complete protein, meaning they have all the essential amino acids our bodies need. Have you been recommended to be on a grain free diet? Our Nutritionists can help make sure you’re getting the right foods.
NutriChem’s take: Taking time to eat and noticing when you are hungry and when you are full are both important parts when looking at nutrition. Here’s a quick exercise you can do if you have trouble connecting your mind with your body!
Step one: Before you start your meal check in with yourself by taking a deep breath and rating your hunger on a scale of 1 - 10, 1 is extremely full and 10 is extremely hungry. Generally, you should aim to start eating when you're around a 7 - 8.
Step two: When eating your meal, chew your food slowly and make a point to enjoy your meal.
Step three: Half way through your meal, stop for a moment and check in with yourself again. Rate your hunger on a scale of 1 - 10.
Doing this exercise regularly with help you listen to your hunger cues. Over time, you will be more in tune with which portion sizes are best for you.
NutriChem’s take: Get your partner or children involved with cooking! Swap out eating in front of your computer and make it a habit to sit down and eat together. Keep the conversation positive and light as stress can disrupt your digestive system.
NutriChem’s take: Just because a product is marketed as “natural” “gluten-free” or “low-fat” does not mean that it is healthy. Read labels! Beware these are descriptive words and do not always reflect what is inside. When in doubt, choose foods without labels like fresh fruits and veggies.
NutriChem’s take: Highly processed foods contain little to no nutritional value. Limit the use of processed foods (things that come in a package, box or bag) and ingredients that contain high sodium, added sugar, and trans fats. When dining out, go for items on the menu that are simple and contain a majority of whole foods.
NutriChem’s take: There is a lot of value in the process of buying, preparing and sharing your own food. Try to prepare as many meals as you can at home. Plan your grocery shop, your meals for the week and set aside time for food prep. Involving the whole family in the process of meal preparation teaches invaluable skills.
NutriChem’s take: This simple step reduces unnecessary intake of sugar, empty calories, synthetic colours and preservatives. We suggest sticking to pure, filtered water to limit your exposure to chlorine which may be disruptive to the gut microbiome. Aim for 6-8 8 oz glasses per day.
NutriChem’s take: Be sure to avoid added sugars and modified fats like Kate stated above. Also, if the label contains a long list of ingredients that you do not recognize, snap a photo of it and put it back on the shelf. It pays to do some research about what each ingredient actually is so that you can stick to natural ingredients. And don’t forget, when it comes to canned food seek out BPA free!
NutriChem’s take: When it comes to healthy eating, food doesn’t need to be boring. Incorporate new colours, flavours and textures into your diet weekly. Explore different cultural foods and meals as a way of expanding your diet and keeping things interesting!
Have something to say about the new guide? Write us in the comment section below and get the conversation started!
NutriChem's Registered Holistic Nutritionists
Laura is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. Holistic nutrition is a combination of modern science and time-tested wisdom based on the philosophy that each person has unique nutritional requirements. Laura specializes in working with clients who have digestive issues, food intolerances and autoimmune conditions. If you’re unsure of where to start, she will guide you in the right direction to improve your health at your own comfortable pace. She will suit your individual needs through customized nutrition protocols and meal planning.
Call: 613-820-4200 to book an appointment with Laura
Kate graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2010. As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Sports Nutrition Expert she is passionate about helping people on their journey to health. Kate recognizes that there is no one-size- fits-all approach to wellbeing. She uses education, lifestyle assessment and meal planning to create a personalized approach to help her clients achieve their goals.
Call: 613-695-5405 to book an appointment with Kate.
Written by Julia Davie, NutriChem Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Doula
Julia is a graduate of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Julia’s services emphasize the importance of whole, live and natural foods. Striving to make healthy eating accessible and enjoyable, she believes that food can be both nutritious and delicious! As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, she understands the unique needs of each client and works with them to develop and implement a healthy eating plan individualized to their needs.
Call: 613-695-5405 to book an appointment with Julia.