You have probably already heard and/or seen Canada’s new food guide that was released this past January. Founded on unbiased research, the new guide stresses the importance of eating more plants as a source of protein and making water your drink of choice. It not only wants us to consider what we eat, but how we eat in an effort to limit cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and promote good oral health.
From “four food groups” to three.
The iconic rainbow food groups that consisted of the four main food groups, dairy products; meat and alternatives; grain products; and fruits and vegetables is gone. The new plate design displays fruits and vegetables, whole grains and the new “protein” category, that combines dairy and meat products with plant-based proteins. The message is clear “Eat more plants, and less meat and dairy”.
One of the most essential nutrients for strong, healthy bones and teeth is calcium. But how can you get enough calcium without the consumption of dairy and still follow the guide? The answer is yes. In addition to lower-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese you can find the following are also great sources of calcium:
- Salmon and Sardines
- Beans and Lentils
- Broccoli, Kale, and Spinach
Make water your drink of choice.
The food guide strongly encourages us to drink more water and limit your intake of products that add excess sugar. Having too many sugary drinks has been linked to an increased risk in cavities and tooth decay and other chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Drinking more water can fulfill two purposes:
- Promote hydration
- Limit the consumption of sugary or alcoholic beverages.
Changing the way you eat.
The focus of the food guide is always on what you eat, but the new version focuses on when, why, and how you eat. The four healthy eating habits and food choices introduced are:
• Be mindful of your eating habits
– Take your time when eating
– Notice when you are hungry and when you are full
• Cook more often
– Plan what you eat
–Involve others in planning and preparing meals
• Enjoy your food
– Culture and food traditions can be a part of healthy eating
• Eat meals with others.
When these new habits and choices are taken together, you can expect a healthier lifestyle which will also help you achieve optimal dental and overall health.
Have questions? Next time your in for your check-up, take the time to chat with us about nutrition and your diet assessment.
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