Green Rules! Health Canada Looks to Plant-Based Foods as the Meat of the Future

Green Rules! Health Canada Looks to Plant-Based Foods as the Meat of the Future

You heard it here first! The federal government has declared that plant-based foods may be the new “meat”. That’s right: in the not-so-distant future, Canada’s Food Guide is expected to favour leafy greens and heart-healthy legumes over meats and dairy.

Based on a focus group masterminded by Earnscliffe Strategy Group, the verdict is that Canadians love their greens—and want more of them in their food. In the sessions, consumers were asked for their opinions on a variety of the proposed new Food Guide’s foundational statements. Here they are:

● Many foods fit healthy eating, choose those that you enjoy and that reflect your culture and traditions.
● Choose mostly plant-based foods.
● Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, whole grains and some protein foods, especially foods that come from plants.
● Include foods that have healthy fats.
● Limit processed and prepared foods high in sodium, sugars, or saturated fat. If you choose these foods, eat them less often and in small amounts.
● Cook with foods that are lower in sodium, sugars and saturated fats.
● Make water your drink of choice.
● Plain milk, unsweetened fortified plant-based or soy beverages can also be healthy beverage choices.
● Be mindful of your eating habits. Enjoy your food. Take time to eat. Notice when you are hungry and when you are full.
● Plan what you eat. Cook more often. Eat with family and friends often. Share your foods skills, food traditions and culture.

The study results revealed that reactions to the statements were generally favourable. Not to mention, a significant number of those surveyed felt that a diet based primarily on plant-based foods was “appropriate”. Appropriate! We’ll take it! After all, the guide hasn’t been updated since 2007 and has been criticized far and wide for recommending too much dairy (and counting fruit juices as servings of fruit/vegetables…*facepalm*).

In addition to shifting away from animals as a primary source of protein, word on the street is that the draft guidelines eliminate dairy as a food group and push water – yes water – as a sensible drink option. And it’s all based on science rather than industry-commissioned reports.

The proposed new guidelines will be applicable to all diets, including vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. With the goal of improving overall eating habits, the government has finally caught onto the health risks – think cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes – associated with the food we eat. And all of us here at My Healthy Kitchen couldn’t be happier.

So go ahead, enjoy one, two, three, four or ten of our mini burgers in one sitting. Share them family style at the next BBQ. Have them for dinner on a lettuce wrap. Munch away on ‘em in a salad. Toss a few in the pan for brekkie. While the first couple of days on reduced meat/dairy diet might sound harrowing, we promise only benefits for your body, your soul, the planet and all those good things. Now that’s progress.