Canada’s new guide for healthy eating has removed the concept of food groups, instead giving general diet advice that includes eating more plant-based proteins.
The official recommendations, released on Tuesday, do away with the previous breakdown of foods into the categories of meat or alternatives, dairy, fruit and vegetables and grains.
Health Canada now emphasizes the importance of drinking more water, avoiding alcohol and processed foods, and eating more plant-based proteins like tofu, nuts and legumes.
The guide also removes recommendations about portion sizes, instead reminding people to pay attention to when they are hungry and when they are full.
Hasan Hutchinson, director-general of nutritional policy and promotion at Health Canada, said: “The guide continues to provide advice on what to eat, but now it also emphasizes that healthy eating is more than the food you eat.”
Early indications the guide would promote eating more plant-based protein sparked concern among dairy and beef farmers, who are worried about the long-term impacts the change in messaging could have on their livelihoods.
The new Food Guide was developed with input from science and health experts and excluded the input of industry to avoid past concerns about political interference.
“We really needed to keep that distance for any perceived or real conflict of interest,” Hutchinson said.
To read the full guide, head to food-guide.canada.ca/en/
With files from the Canadian Press