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Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide Background • Over the past three years, Health Canada has consulted extensively on the revised Food Guide. • Widespread consultation brought comments from approximately 7,000 stakeholders including dieticians, scientists, physicians and public health experts with an interest in health and chronic disease prevention. • The revised food guide builds on the best evidence available and incorporates input from many stakeholders. • Health Canada released the revised Canada’s Food Guide on February 5th, 2007. Background • Canada’s Food Guide has been used by Canadians for 65 years and provides the basis for many nutrition policies and programs developed across the country and Nova Scotia (including public health nutrition programming, Healthy Eating Nova Scotia, and the Food and Nutrition Policy for NS Public Schools). • Canada’s Food Guide provides recommendations on the amount of food for individuals by age and gender as well as guidance on the quality of food choices. Tools • Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide (6 pg fold-out) • Resource for Educators and Communicators • Interactive web component, including ‘My Food Guide’ which allows users to personalize food guide information based on their age, gender, food preferences, and activity choices. Key Changes from 1992 • Clear guidance is provided on portion sizes and the number of recommended servings, based on age and gender. This change makes it easier to determine the right amounts of food to meet needs for healthy growth and development, and reduce risk of obesity and chronic diseases. • The addition of younger children (beginning with 2 years of age) also addresses a previous gap in nutrition guidance. Key Changes from 1992 (continued) • Guidance on the kinds and amounts of oils & fats that will reduce intake of saturated and trans fats and increase intake of unsaturated oils & fats is provided. • Vegetables, fruit and whole grains are emphasized as part of the healthy eating pattern while the importance of milk, meat and their alternatives is also recognized. • New positioning of vegetables and fruits on the outer-most arc of the rainbow design highlights their importance in health promotion and disease prevention. Key Changes from 1992 (continued) • Guidance is provided on selecting the best choices within each food group: – – – – – enjoy foods prepared with little or no added fat, sugar, or salt choose vegetables and fruit more often than juice make at least half of your grain products whole grain everyday have meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often drink lower fat milk, or fortified soy beverages if you do not drink milk, each day Key Changes from 1992 (continued) • Lower cost food options are included on the food guide including a range of frozen, canned, and dried foods which is supportive of our food security initiatives. • More examples of ethnic foods are included. • The new food guide includes a focus on physical activity given the strong relationship between eating well and being active on feeling good, promoting healthy weights, and building strong bones. Key Changes from 1992 (continued) • The food guide encourages consumers to use the Nutrition Facts table on packaged foods to select foods high in vitamins, minerals and fibre and low in sugar, sodium, and fat. • The food guide highlights vitamin D as requiring special attention, particularly for adults over 50 years of age. It is now recommended that a supplement of 10 µg (400 IU) of vitamin D be included daily as a single supplement or a component in a multi-supplement. Key Changes from 1992 (continued) • A multi-supplement with folic acid is recommended for all women who could become pregnant, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding and mentions that these groups may also be at risk for inadequate dietary sources of iron. • Direction is given on foods and beverages that should be limited, specifically those high in calories, fat and sugar such as cakes, chocolate, doughnuts, cookies, French fries, potato chips, alcohol, and sweetened hot or cold drinks. Key Changes from 1992 (continued) • The food guide is designed to provide guidance on prevention of obesity; it is not a treatment tool. Inclusion of physical activity is a key factor in prevention of obesity. • The calorie content of the recommended number of food guide servings per day depends on the food chosen. Those who are the least active will have to follow the guidance closely and limit foods eaten outside of the four food groups. Key Messages • Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day. • Choose vegetables and fruit prepared with little or no added fat, sugar, or salt. • Have vegetables and fruit more often than juice. • Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day. • Choose grain products that are lower in fat, sugar, or salt. • Drink skim, 1%, or 2% milk each day and select lower fat milk alternatives. Key Messages • Have meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often. • Eat at least two food guide servings of fish each week. • Select lean meat and alternatives prepared with little or no added fat or salt. • Include a small amount - 30 to 45 ml (2 to 3 tbsp) - of unsaturated fat each day. • Compare the Nutrition Facts table on food labels to choose products that contain less fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and sodium. Key Messages • Drink water regularly. • By following the new food guide, people can reduce their risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and osteoporosis.