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Canada's new food guide will focus more on plant-based produce - and eliminate dairy - according to a piece published in the Huffington Post.
The article by Anna Pippus - Animal Rights Lawyer & Director of Farmed Animal Advocacy at Animal Justice - says: "The Canadian government has issued a new draft food guide, entirely overhauling the antiquated system of food categories—focusing instead on eating patterns—and emphasizing the importance of including a “high proportion of plant-based foods.”
"The milk category is indeed gone, and the powerhouse legume has been elevated above animal foods.
"The draft food guide’s first, foundational recommendation establishes the importance of whole foods and specifies that plant-based foods (such as legumes) are a preferred source of protein. The recommendation is for “regular intake of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and protein-rich foods, especially plant-based sources of protein."
The new draft guide recommends the 'inclusion of foods that contain mostly unsaturated fat, instead of foods that contain mostly saturated fat'.
This suggestion that people aim to eat unsaturated - rather then saturated - fat also signals a shift towards a more plant-centric diet as saturated fat is found almost exclusively in animal foods.
Pippus says: "It is recommended that people 'limit - rather than 'avoid' - saturated fat, even though this unhealthy form of primarily animal fat is linked to a variety of preventable lifestyle diseases.
"Nevertheless, these draft guidelines are a dramatic improvement, putting Canada alongside Brazil as a world leader in taking back our eating recommendations from industry and promoting evidence-based eating patterns to benefit our health and planet."
According to Pippus: "There’s no more dairy food group, a win not only for public health but also cultural inclusivity, given that up to 90 percent of some non-European ethnicities are lactose intolerant.
"It’s also a huge win for the cows who really don’t want us to kill their babies so we can steal their milk. Instead, the guidelines will sensibly advise people to drink water."
The draft also looks at the connection between our food system and environment - accepting that there is a link between wildlife loss, greenhouse gas emissions, soil degradation and other issues.
Recognising the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet, it says: "Diets higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods are associated with a lesser environmental impact."
Pippus concludes: "This food guide hasn’t been finalized yet, so now is a critical time to participate by saying what you like (and don’t like) about the draft. Industry is already organizing and lobbying, trying to unfairly retain its foothold at the expense of our health.
"We need our voices to be equally loud."
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