Canada’s Food Guide Cheat Sheet

Happy New Year! It’s January, the most popular month of the entire year for gyms… and fad diets. I’m here to help you avoid falling victim to the latest nutrition trends by highlighting top tips from Canada’s official food guide, which provides dietary recommendations for healthy individuals over the age of two.

Visit here to read the entire guide, but here are the most important elements to factor into your daily diet:

1. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

A healthy eating pattern must include a variety of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. This is an excellent way to obtain fibre, vitamins, and minerals, and there is no excuse when it comes to choosing one – after all, there are so many options with different flavours, textures and colours! A few of my favourites are raspberries, avocado, and cauliflower. Dark green vegetables are also important because they contain calcium and folate. I love to make kale chips (see my website for the recipe – yummy!), and broccoli in a vegetable medley.

When it comes to fruit, you can eat fresh, frozen, canned or dried, but avoid those with too much added sugar or sodium. You can refer to the food labels to help you with this, remember that 15% or more is considered to be a lot.

2. Eat protein foods with every meal, aiming for about a quarter of your plate.

Recommended ‘protein foods’ now encompasses lean meat products, like beef and chicken, as well as seafoods, lower fat dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, beans/peas/lentils, and even fortified soy beverages. This illustrates that even vegetarians can follow these guidelines and easily consume the required protein for optimal health.

3. Choose whole grain foods, rather than refined carbohydrates, to make up the remaining ¼ of each meal.

When a food is processed, some parts of the grain are taken out, reducing its overall nutritional content. Whole grain pasta, quinoa, oatmeal, and wild rice are excellent for you, and (no surprise here) it is best to limit your intake of baked goods, sugary cereals, and frozen dishes as much as possible.

4. Reach for water first, every day, all throughout the day.

Remember that healthy eating doesn’t just refer to the foods you chose to eat regularly. Being mindful of your habits when it comes to food, preparing your own meals, enjoying your food with others, and taking time to savour each meal can lead you and your family to create good relationships with food and live well.

Do you have questions for me related to your 2024 health goals? Please reach out, I love to support my readers and am here to help.

Julie Germaine Coram; Certified Nutrition Coach, Registered Personal Trainer, 2x International Pro Fitness Champion. Coach Julie has helped thousands of men and women improve their health since 2005. Visit www.calendly.com/juliegermaine to schedule a free consultation!