Andrew Scheer, PM hopeful, recently criticized the 2019 edition of the Canada’s Food Guide stating, “seems to be ideologically driven by people who have a philosophical perspective,” He also suggested that it isn’t based on science. I can’t tell you exactly what’s going on with Scheer, but I will say, the 2019 Canada’s Food Guide absolutely offers a healthier template to build our meals around. And by emphasizing including more plant-based proteins (vegan), it has introduced a healthier diet for Canadians and our environment.
The new Canada’s Food Guide encourages to make 50% of our daily intake fruit and veg. Red meat, fish and chicken all feature in the proteins, as do legumes and nuts. And they represent 25% of your intake. Complex carbohydrates like quinoa and wild rice (along with regular old pasta and rice, make up the bottom 25%). The new emphasis on plant-based proteins: legumes and nuts is a healthier shift in the right direction. It’s more economical too!
Let’s compare to 2007, the last time the Food Guide was updated.
The biggest (and most exciting changes) of the 2019 edition are an emphasis on plant-based protein.
A Vegan Diet is the Single Most Effective Way to Positively Impact the Environment
Researchers at the University of Oxford in England found that by cutting meat and dairy from our diets, we could reduce the world’s carbon emissions by 73 per cent. A vegan diet means your diet is strictly plant-based: so no eggs, dairy, meat, cheese or even honey.
Now, if the idea of going full vegan is daunting for you (I know it is for me and my family), what about baby stepping it? What about one vegan meal per week?
Let’s look at the health and budget benefits. When you swap out meat protein for plant-based protein you get high fibre, low fat and it’s super economical. A pound of lentils will cost you about $4.00 and provide enough to feed a family of four twice. Easily. A pound of beef will cost anywhere from $5.00 – $30.00 (depending on the cut) and will cover one meal — maybe.