Canada’s Food Guide – Does Keto Fit?

Hey Everyone!

Just yesterday, January 22, 2019, a new Canada’s Food Guide was released.

Today I will show you the old one, the new one, and discuss the changes. Also, we will see how the Keto Lifestyle fits into the new Canada’s Food Guide.

Let’s get started!

The Old Canada’s Food Guidecanada's food guide

As you can see, there were four areas in the old food guide: Grain Products, Vegetables and Fruits, Milk Products, and Meat and Alternatives. The directive on the Food Guide was to “Enjoy a variety of foods from each group every day.” Also, you were encouraged to “Choose lower-fat foods more often.”

The Keto Lifestyle would say to choose foods from three groups (exclude grains) daily, and be sure to choose foods high in healthy fats, and low in carbs as often as possible.

My personal experience was that I would choose 35% cream for my coffee, cheese and meat each day, and vegetables and fruit, of the low carb variety, on a daily basis.

Honestly, there is nothing in the Grains category that I have chosen to eat in the last year. Nothing. And I am healthier than I have ever been in my entire life.

Understand that part of my health is the daily exercise, not just the food choices. Now the new Food Guide.

canada's food guide

The New Canada’s Food Guide

The first thing you will notice is there are only three food choices recommended, and they are more general in their descriptions: Have plenty of vegetables and fruit, Eat protein foods, and Choose whole grain foods.

They add to that “Make water your drink of choice.”
The directive is to “Eat a variety of healthy foods each day.”

I am glad there is less emphasis on the grain (read carbs) portion of eating, and more emphasis on vegetables and fruits. Eating veggies and fruit every day is the best thing you can do for your health. Especially those veggies and fruits that grow above and close to the ground.

Add to that the proteins that are pictures: legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, fortified soy beverage, fish, shellfish, eggs, poultry, lean red meat including wild game, lower fat milk, lower fat yogurts, lower fat kefir, and cheeses lower in fat and sodium.

If you add to that a choice of a whole grain food, your diet will be well-rounded, according to Health Canada.

    What Else Has Changed?

    The Food Guide goes on to discuss that healthy eating is more than the foods you choose to eat. The Guide details the other aspects they deem are all part of a healthy eating lifestyle.

    First, we need to be mindful of our eating habits. We should take the time to eat, they suggest, and pay attention to when you are full or hungry. Being mindful of what our bodies need, not just eating because it is lunchtime, for example, is good advice.

    Next they suggest that you cook more often. Plan your meals, and involve others in the planning and preparation of the meals. Make dinner an event, like it used to be in the old days. Have your family or friends around, and all work together to cook the food. This will, by default, make you eat out less often, and you can avoid the poorer food choices that are often made at a restaurant, since you don’t have to prepare the food.

    cooking togetherTheir third suggestion is to enjoy your food. Whatever your culture or preferences are, enjoy preparing and cooking those foods.

    Finally, they suggest eating food with others. By saying that, they are saying to avoid eating alone. Often our portions and self-control are larger and less inhibited when we are alone.

    This is all very good advice, and I commend Health Canada on adding this to the guide.

    There is also mention that our food choice can have an impact on the environment, and that is something we need to take into consideration. Eating less meat, for example, may lower the demand for meat, and the production of meat will decrease, therefore lowering the methane gas released into the environment each day. The jury is still out on this one, but there may be some evidence that this is true.

    For a detailed look at the food guide, click here.

    Canada’s Food Guide and the Keto Lifestyle

    So, how does the new Food Guide fit in with the Keto Lifestyle?

    Well, they have removed the dairy section, which is a good source of healthy fats, if you choose wisely. There have been studies (1) that have shown that choosing milk and cheese that is higher in fat is better that the low fat products.

    We are a society driven by taste, and when the fat is removed from the food, the taste suffers. To make the food appealing to our taste buds, manufacturers add chemicals that make the low-fat, bland food taste better. I prefer to eat the high fat, naturally tasty foods than the chemically enhanced good tasting foods.

    The removal of most meats (they recommend lean red meat and chicken) from the guide, also limits the healthy fat intake from meat proteins. Again, there is not a definitive link between red meats and heart disease. Don’t get me wrong. Scientific data can be interpreted to support any outcome you would like. My suggestion is to do your own research before you just blindly follow the suggestions of others (2).

    So there is not a lot of change to my Keto choices. I will continue on as I did before the changes. Some of my choices would not be popular to the proponents of the new Food Guide. But remember, you need to eat the foods you feel best contribute to your health, as I will.

    Last Wordseat well live well

    So there you have it. A new Canada’s Food Guide, one that was created without the influence of lobbyists. There are many angry groups in Canada. The dairy farmers. The beef farmers, the chicken farmers and the egg farmers to name a few. And don’t forget the grain farmers. Their section has been diminished by more than half.

    In the end, how you eat and what you eat is a personal choice. Education is bound by the Food Guide, so it is good to see all the background information addresses the health concerns of Canadians. Avoiding sugar can and will save the Canadian health care system millions of dollars in treatments each year.

    Eat Well, Live Well!

    Thanks for listening. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

    See you in the next post.

    Have a great day!

    Tom Fitzsimmons

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