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The new Canada’s Food Guide explained: Goodbye four food groups and serving sizes, hello hydration

Health Canada’s updated manual for healthy eating offers fewer hard-and-fast rules and broader advice about how to live better. Here are some of the highlights…

The federal government has dramatically overhauled its iconic Canada’s Food Guide, introducing this week a new, simplified approach that encourages plant-based eating and reduces the emphasis on meat and dairy.

For the past four decades, Health Canada has instructed Canadians that a healthy diet consists of specific servings across “four food groups,” set against a rainbow background. But the new guide, unveiled Tuesday morning, not only does away with the four groups, it eliminates serving numbers and sizes altogether. It also replaces the “rainbow” with a new icon: A plate.

Here are some of the biggest changes from the new food guide.

NO MORE ‘FOUR FOOD GROUPS’

The four food groups had, until this week, remained more or less unchanged since they had their debut in the 1977 Canada’s Food Guide. Those groups consisted of milk and milk products; meat and alternatives; grain products; and fruits and vegetables.

The new guide, revealed by Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor on Tuesday, reduces those groups to three. The message in that change is clear: Eat more plants, and less meat and dairy. As such, the remaining groups are: fruits and vegetables; whole grains; and proteins – a new umbrella category that combines both dairy and meat, along with plant-based proteins such as tofu and chickpeas. Even within the “protein” category, meat and dairy is de-emphasized. “Among protein foods, consume plant-based more often,” the new guide says. “The regular intake of plant-based foods – vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and plant-based proteins – can have… READ MORE