New Canada Food Guide Ditches Dairy And Says 'Eat More Vegan Foods'

The new suggestions have made global headlines - with the dairy industry angry at being left out. But one major health organization said it was 'pleased with the federal government's overall direction'
Canada Food Guide
The new Canada Food Guide

The new Canada Food Guide has overhauled dietary suggestions dramatically - ditching dairy and advising Canadians to eat more vegan foods and less meat.

The guide, which is created by the federal government and influences meals served in public canteens as well as private homes, used to feature four food groups - milk and milk products; meat and alternatives; grain products; and fruits and vegetables. Cheese is left off the guide altogether, and the suggested drink is water.

Now it has ditched these four groups, and removed dairy and meat from the guidelines, replacing the groups with a plate half covered by fruits and vegetables, a quarter whole grains, and a quarter 'proteins' - which include meat and dairy foods as well as plant-based proteins like tofu and chickpeas. The guidelines themselves say: "Eat veggies, fruit, whole grains, plant-based protein foods more regularly."

They also tell people to reduce saturated fat - which comes from meat and dairy products.

Canada Food Guide

Speaking about the new guide, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor told Canadian paper The Globe and Mail that the meat and dairy industries had been lobbying. "The only thing I can say is that these many groups have made their positions known, and it is their right to do so.

"It was my role as Health Minister to meet with all stakeholders. But in no way did my meetings influence the individuals creating Canada’s Food Guide.

"We want to make sure Canadians have access to the best information with the food guide - the best information based on the best science out there, and science that’s not influenced by industry."


Canadian Medical Association (CMA) President Dr. Gigi Osler said the CMA was 'pleased with the federal government's overall direction in the new Food Guide...[and] particularly supportive of the evidence-based review and extensive consultation process used to draft the new Guide, to ensure it was founded on unbiased research."

The dairy industry us less pleased with the new advice, with one group releasing a statement saying: "Dairy Farmers of Canada remains concerned that the updated food guide does not reflect the most recent and mounting scientific evidence available."

The organization's Manager of Health education, Lee Finell, added that milk 'is a good source of nutrients' - listing calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D, saying: "These are really important nutrients, and Canadians already aren't getting enough of them."

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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